(Voice of the Persecuted) Christians in North Nigeria shared with Voice of the Persecuted that the military has warned of a new tactic by Boko Haram to perpetrate deadly attacks on the public. The news comes as added stress for those suffering beyond measure in the North and they’re asking for prayer.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Defence Headquarters (DHQ, Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar stated the Boko Haram is determined to continue attacks using bombs in crowded areas. He advised the public to be on the alert and not to hesitate in reporting any suspicious persons.
The extremists have been able to carry out attacks, though the government recently insisted Boko Haram has been effectively defeated.
TERRORISTS NOW HIDE IEDS AMONG VEGETABLES
“In continuation with the sensitization of our citizens on the devilish strategy of the terrorists, the Nigerian Military authorities have discovered that the Boko Haram terrorists are determined to continue letting off bombs and have resorted to masquerading as fruits and vegetable vendors wheeling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as groceries into crowded areas.
The terrorists now hide IEDs under vegetable wares in carts and wheelbarrows and move to crowded places where they detonate them for maximum casualties. The recent terrorists attack in the North East is a case in point.
Having been effectively dislodged and decimated the BH terror group has begun some systematic isolated attacks mainly on soft targets in their desperation to remain relevant.
The Defence Headquarters hereby advises the general public to constantly be alert to this latest terrorist tactics and to report promptly any suspicious persons or objects to the nearest security agency.
While commending the general public and the media for their continuous support so far, all citizens are once again reminded that security is everybody’s concern therefore, they should join hands with the security agencies to eliminate the remnant of the terrorists.”
Imagine living day to day never knowing where or when an attack will happen. If the person walking or sitting next to you is a suicide bomber and about to complete their final mission. It’s not a question of if, but when. Too many still suffer extreme grief and trauma from near-death experiences as Boko Haram unleashed terror on their communities. After 6 long years of the insurgency, many wonder if their towns and villages will ever be safe. They now fear they’ll be forced to return to areas which will face repeat attacks after resettlement. Will they again be forced to hide in the bush, or trapped in the mountains without food or water? Will they and their remaining family members be spared in another murderous rampage of the Boko Haram? What risks will the Nigerian government and international communities expect them to accept? What would we in the West demand if it were happening to us, in our own countries? They want as we would, protection and survival without any risks.
Today, the U.N. warned the Nigerian government of returning the IDP’s (internally displaced people) to their villages. In the country to assess measures in place for the rehabilitation and re-integration of returnee Boko Haram victims, a delegation of the United Nations (UN) has warned that the nation risks future crisis if it fails to properly resettle those displaced by activities of the terrorist group.
We’ve heard chilling stories as these brothers and sisters narrated the past six years of incredible brutality, inhuman attacks of pure evil. Churches, businesses and homes looted and destroyed, entire villages burned to the ground. Horrifying accounts of captivity while in the hands of the murderous Boko Haram. Many slaughtered like animals for refusing to convert to Islam. Children taken to Sambisa Forest to train as fighters while militants plant hatred in their hearts. Profound grief for loved ones lost in attacks, or from infection and the severity of their wounds. Stories of dangerous journeys on the run and their intense struggles to keep alive. The unbearable sorrow of a parent describing the death of a child who had succumbed to starvation and disease. So many widows, so many orphans, it’s impossible to hold back the tears and not cry with them. As their stories, all at once, come flooding back to my mind, it’s impossible to write or express the atrocious savagery and enormous extent of suffering endured. But in the midst of great trials, their joy in the Lord is nothing short of remarkable. Their steadfast faith in the face of death, a great witness and encouragement. Through all the pain inflicted on them by the Boko Haram, they refuse to give in to hate. They remain determined to one day go home, rebuild their villages and again live happily.
It’s hard for us to understand why Nigeria is so often ignored. If the mutilation and slaughter, capture and rape of young girls and married women, little girls forced to become slave wives and suicide bombers, the suffering of internal refugees from years of neglect were documented in film; would it be enough for the world to even grasp the reality of the crisis and senseless evil brought against them? Would they be a voice, or remain silent? Would they be stirred to action and bring aid, or turn up the volume to drown out their cries? I wonder…
The desire to serve at their place, to love, pray and worship with them intensifies with each new attack. My heart overflows for my Christian family in Nigeria and the need to go and wash their feet calls out louder and louder.
Displaced people (internal refugees say that although their living conditions were nearly intolerable they had heard too many stories of attacks on the few early returnees to feel safe going home.
“We are afraid we will go and the army will leave us, and Boko Haram will come back.”
“People there are still voluntarily joining the insurgents.”
“The dense forest is near our village. So long as they are there, we can’t return.”
Some have seen Boko Haram militants moving large quantities of supplies to mountain hideouts.
Students in the Northeast, particularly girls, are afraid to go back to school fearing they will be attacked by the Boko Haram who believe Western education is a sin. In areas where thousands have been displaced by the insurgency, the majority of schools have remained closed for the past two years.
In regard to the latest news, a Christian pastor in the heart of the crisis told VOP, “Never relent in your prayers for us.”
L. Kanalos, VOP Advocate
Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) is aiding an IDP camp caring for Christians who have faced incredible persecution. Nearly every person has lost loved ones at the hands of Boko Haram. The road ahead is long, both physically and emotionally. A large number, including the children in the camp, have suffered great emotional trauma and need counseling to overcome. Most in the camp come from villages which were completely destroyed and still considered at risk. They will not be leaving the camp anytime soon and their needs continue to rise. The insurgency by Boko Haram extremists in north-east Nigeria, the epicentre of the crisis, has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and many believe it’s far from over. Based on the latest mission assessment report, it has been logically determined many areas, particularly the villages of Gwoza, remain too dangerous for return. We cannot be silent and will continue to be their voice. We will stand by them and remember them constantly in our prayers.
Much help is needed to continue covering basic needs for these persecuted families, orphans and widows in the camp, approx. 400 people. Your gifts make it possible to get food, clothing, medical needs/care and fresh water to the suffering. These brothers and sisters need our compassion. They are thankful for any help, so encouraged they’re not forgotten. Can you share with these dear ones, today?
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
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Article may be reprinted with credit to VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED.