Boko Haram closes 13,000 churches and 1500 schools

Two NGOs – one in United States and the other in Nigeria—has published a damning report on the crisis in North East.

The NGOs, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative (USA) and Istandwithnigeria, culled their report from reportable international organizations like WHO, UNICEF and UN.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there are about 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

This is the third highest figure in Africa and the seventh in the world.

If we do a proper maths, then the situation is direr.

When we factor in the fact that a majority of Nigerian IDPs seek refuge with family or makeshift camps that are not counted, the picture becomes clearer.

According to one UN expert, there are an additional three-to five million such IDPs, resulting to five-to-seven million IDPs.

Nigeria is therefore currently home to more IDPs than any other country in Africa and perhaps second only to Syria globally!

Again, 55-70% of the IDPs are living outside officially sanctioned areas, and as a result, receive almost no humanitarian assistance.

Add these figures to UNHCR’s estimate of 160,943 refugees and asylum seekers from Nigeria, then the entire situation becomes crystal clear.

The Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 14.8 million people in north east are impacted by Boko Haram crisis.

14.8 million!

Although exact numbers are difficult to ascertain, as many as 2,000 women, boys and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2012.

The report goes on to say that since 2009, 611 teachers have been intentionally [neutralized] while 19,000 have fled for their lives.

910 schools have been destroyed and another 1,500 schools forced to close down.

The result is that close to 1 million school-age are denied education.

The aftermath of this will reverberate with significant repercussions for an entire generation.

Between 2000 and 2014, more than 13,000 churches were abandoned, closed or destroyed in northern and central Nigeria.

Aside from these statistics, another dangerous occurrence is gradually ripening in the middle belt: Fulani militants!

Many religious minorities perceive Boko Haram as an organized attempt to ensure that their very presence is removed from the area.

Boko Haram loosely grew into the current behemoth that went from:

(1) Nascent movement building upon local grievances and lack of good governance.

(2) Lack of proper engagement by the Nigerian government in an atmosphere of impunity,

(3) Hardening of organizational ideology and religious identification with increasingly aggressive acts of destruction.

(4) Full-scale conflict impacting millions to a degree that is now forcing the Nigerian government to seek resolution.

Fulani militants in the Middle Belt rapidly progressed through the first two stages and are currently in the third stage.

Fulani militants are now classified by the Global Terrorism Index as the fourth most lethal terrorist group by numbers killed.

In 2013, Fulani militants [neutralized] 63 individuals while in 2014 they [neutralized] 1,229 individuals.

These attacks are increasingly encroaching on territory around Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria.

Without intervention, the crisis in the Middle Belt will continue to escalate.

If the current tempo of violence is continued (Boko Haram in the North, Fulani Militants in the Middle, Militants in the south and separatist from the East), in a matter of time, Nigeria cease to exist as a nation.

Read the full report here