By Open Doors
Heavily armed militants, suspected members of Boko Haram, attacked Damaturu, Yobe state capital late last week, on Thursday, 24 October. It appears that hundreds of members of the sect took part in the surprise offensive that took place in an area that hosts government institutions but also affected the Christian dominated Jerusalem area. The death toll of the gun battle between the militants and the army, which lasted several hours, has not been confirmed.
An Open Doors worker in Nigeria reported, “Efforts to reach Christians in the town by telephone proved futile as all lines have been cut – it is common practise during events such as these. We have been able to contact Christians who live in areas away from the capital. They expressed great worry over the safety of their brethren in Damaturu. This city has suffered many attacks in the recent past and is now under a dusk-till-dawn curfew. We are concerned over the effect of the continued violence experienced by believers in Yobe state. They are living in constant fear. Every single day there are believers who lose loved ones and see the destruction of their property.”
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in May this year, but his government has since come under increased criticism for their failure to bring an end to the incessant violence.
Open Doors has been involved through training and socio-economic development to affected areas for years. Gerrit Coetzee, CEO of Open Doors South Africa says, “I urge believers to keep the local Church in Nigeria in their prayers. They need hope. And pray that the Lord would enable the government to bring the situation under control. A lot of wisdom is needed on how to deal with the Boko Haram militants.”