The largest indigenous Christian denomination in the Northeast, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, known in Hausa as Ekklesiyya Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), has declared it lost over 8,370 members to Boko Haram attacks around Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
The EYN, an Adamawa-based denomination with headquarters in Kwarhi, Hong local government area, has 1.5 million members in branches mostly across the Northeast.
President of the EYN, Rev Joel Billi, told reporters on Thursday the EYN is the worst- hit Christian denomination.
He said that apart from more than 8,370 members and eight pastors of the EYN killed by Boko Haram, “over 700,000 members were displaced.
He added 53 of the 60 District Church Councils of the EYN were directly affected by insurgency with 300 of the church’s 586 branches either burnt or damaged by Boko Haram.
“Uncountable number of houses of our members were either burnt or looted,” he said.
The EYN President added that many members had been abducted while 217 of the abducted 276 Chibok school girls belonged to the EYN.
He requested President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to ensure the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls as well as Leah Sheribu, Alice Loksha and hundreds of other people abducted by Boko Haram.
Asserting that many communities, especially communities in Gworza local government area of Borno State, are still deserted after repeated Boko Haram attacks, the EYN President appealed to Buhari to station a battalion of soldiers there so that residents who fled from attacks and are now in refugee camps in Cameroon or IDP camps across Nigeria could return home.
He also called on the government to reconstruct the houses, schools and worship places destroyed by the insurgents.