Christian Aid / 4 NOV 2014 – Gunfire and bomb blasts are filling the city of Mubi in northeast Nigeria with smoke and corpses while a Nigeria-based ministry assisted by Christian Aid Mission struggles to meet the needs of a growing number of Internally Displaced People (IDP).
“The situation is so horrific, as all people, including women, children and the aged alike, trek for over 50 kilometers, some of whom have died on the road,” the director of the ministry based in the area said. “The second biggest city in Adamawa state is now occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, killing anyone they see.”
The ministry has begun rescuing groups of IDPs and transferring them to a safe location. Since the Islamic extremist Boko Haram began its takeover of Mubi on Wednesday (Oct. 29), more than 300,000 people have fled to Yola, all of them dependent on humanitarian aid. The rescue mission has cost 120,000 naira (US$723) in just the last three days, and the director expects the ministry will need more than 1 million naira (US$6,026) to feed, clothe and resettle people in the coming days.
“We have to show our Christian love and spirit to support these people,” said the director, who is still searching for some of his ministry’s staff members lost in the commotion. “Some of them that we have taken are not even known to us; some are Muslims, and others Christians – you have to help all persons regardless of their religious and ethnic affiliations. That is what Christ came to do.”
Boko Haram, which seeks to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law) on all of Nigeria, now occupies Mubi, once a city of 300,000 people, as well as Michika, Madagali and Bazza, the director said. Besides the funding needs to meet immediate needs, he requested prayer for safety and strength.
Designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Boko Haram is said to have threatened to seize the key city of Yola within a few weeks.
“Half of Adamawa state is on fire right now, and all around us the air is so emotionally charged that we are concerned for our own safety,” the director said. “The image of the soldiers running away from a handful of Boko Haram folks was an indescribable sight. We must rely on God to save the people. We ask for your urgent prayers and support.”