West & Central Africa

Islamist governor to rebuild churches destroyed by Boko Haram

In a surprise move the Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, has said  the state government will rebuild churches destroyed by Boko Haram.

burnt ChurchHe said, “We are going to rebuild churches and others structures destroyed in Lassa and other communities around.” The governor is himself an Islamist and Borno has adopted sharia law.

Kashim Shettima who moved his residence temporarily to Bama last week has now relocated to Lassa one of the areas Boko Haram ruled as a caliphate for over three years. After touring the villages and inspecting  the devastation in Lassa and Gwoza he said, “We are saddened by the large scale destruction in Lassa which is a predominantly Christian community.”

He promised to rebuild the community adding, “We are doing this because we have a duty as a government to ensure fairness, equity and justice in all our endeavours.”

Gwoza, located on the mountainous region that spans to Cameroun was a major missionary station for Christians for more than thirty years. Schools and Primary Health Clinic were set up by many Christian mission outreaches.

Many years of mission work were destroyed by Boko Haram when it overran the area and declared its caliphate, making Gwoza an operational headquarters until it was recaptured by the Nigerian Army in March 2015.

Governor Shetima said, “We believe that the Christian community has rights to be served like its Muslims counterpart, since we have rebuilt Mosques destroyed in other places, we must rebuild churches too.”

He promised that the churches will be built by Christmas this year.