Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, popularly known in Hausa as Ekklesiyya Yan’uwa a Nigeria, says Boko Haram insurgents have killed over 8,370 of its members in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
EYN, said to be the largest indigenous Christian denomination in the Northeast with headquarters in Kwarhi, Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa, has 1.5 million members in branches mostly across the Northeast.
EYN President, Rev Joel Billi, told journalists on Thursday that the church was the worst- hit Christian denomination.
Billi said in addition to the more than 8,370 members and eight pastors of the EYN killed by Boko Haram insurgents, “over 700,000 members were displaced.”
He also disclosed that 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.
Billi added that many members had been abducted while 217 of the abducted 276 Chibok school girls belonged to the EYN.
He, therefore, requested President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states 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.
The EYN president, who said that many communities, especially those in Gworza Local Government Area of Borno State, were still deserted after repeated Boko Haram attacks, appealed to President Buhari to deployed soldiers in the area to enable residents who fled from attacks and are now in refugee camps in Cameroon or IDP camps across Nigeria to return home.
Billi also urged the government to reconstruct the houses, schools and worship places destroyed by the insurgents.