Living in Fear of Boko Haram: “I did not dare go to church”

Living in fear of Boko Haram: “I did not dare go to church”

ICC Note

“I am Christian. I did not dare go to church last Sunday. I was too afraid of another attack. But as I drove to the gas station, I passed near a church. The youths of this church had mounted road blocks all around it, and were checking every vehicle very thoroughly, irrespective of who the driver was. Now, Christians and police are working side by side to guard the churches. Seeing this makes me feel safe enough to go back to mass this coming Sunday.”

06/28/2012 Nigeria (France 24)-As the Islamist militant group Boko Haram continues to terrorise northern Nigeria, residents of Kaduna are still reeling from the simultaneous bombing of three churches a week and a half ago. One of our Observers in Kaduna tells us these attacks convinced many Christians to leave town, while those who have stayed face an uncertain future.

Paul Aminu

Paul Aminu lives in Kaduna with his wife and 5-month-old son. He works as a manager for football players.

I am Christian. I did not dare go to church last Sunday. I was too afraid of another attack. But as I drove to the gas station, I passed near a church. The youths of this church had mounted road blocks all around it, and were checking every vehicle very thoroughly, irrespective of who the driver was. Now, Christians and police are working side by side to guard the churches. Seeing this makes me feel safe enough to go back to mass this coming Sunday.

Many Christians, including some of my neighbours, left Kaduna after the church attacks. Most went back to states they originally hail from, where life is not as dangerous as it is here. My family and I decided to stay, in the hope that things will improve.

          ….

Here, Christians and Muslims may work together, but they are not neighbours. The city of Kaduna is virtually split in half, with Christians living in the south and Muslims in the north. Most of the time, the relationship is cordial, but it can blow up at the slightest provocation.

Beyond security, Boko Haram’s attacks are also causing major economic problems for our state. Lots of companies are leaving, and no new ones are coming in. The curfew that has been imposed throughout the state – from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. – is not good for business. Companies from outside the state no longer want to export food to us, or else it’s very expensive. Since the attacks, the cost of living has been getting much higher. I use a 12.5 kg gas cooker. Before, it cost 3,000 Naira (about 15 euros) to fill it up; now it costs 3,500 (17 euros). Bags of rice went up from 1100 Naira (about 5,50 euros) to 1220 (6 euros). And a chicken has gone from 900 Naira (4,50 euros) to 1,400 Naira (7 euros)!

 …

[Go to the Full Story]

For me, it would be difficult to leave Kaduna. My business is here; if I left, I would have to start all over again.

 

 

[Go to the Full Story]

ICC is on a mission to help persecuted Christians. Will you join us?