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North-East better off under Buhari, presidency replies to Mamza

Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza.<br />PHOTO: Bedrängte Christen

The presidency has said that the Northeast has fared better under President Muhammadu Buhari than it was under the previous administration.

In a statement yesterday signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the presidency said its position was predicated on the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the president for a second term of four years.

The presidency’s comment was in reaction to reports that the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza delivered a homily in which he spoke angrily against President Buhari, whom he described as “sleeping on duty as commander-in-chief.”

“There is so much that has changed in the past three to four years in and around Yola, and the Catholic Church in particular that a true assessment would show that but for the change administration of President Buhari, things would have continued the way they were, or even gotten worse. These could not have happened if a commander-in- chief was asleep.

“Bishop Mamza was, and is still a strong member of the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API) composed of religious and community leaders which did the lovely work housing and feeding 400,000 displaced people from northern Adamawa and Borno states in 2015. The API also did the extraordinary work of easing tensions between Muslims and Christians during that period and ensured that both groups did not turn on one another based on suspicion.

“As widely reported by the local and international press, in the premises of St. Theresa’s Cathedral where Rev. Mamza ministered, there were more than 1,500 IDPs, mostly women and children on whom the church administered food rations and issued bags of maize, cooking oil and seasoning. We are truly touched and very grateful for the work that the Bishop and the others had done in that difficult period.

“Now that Boko Haram has been degraded, the more than 400,000 displaced people absorbed by the Adamawa community have all gone back to Borno State and to those council areas in northern Adamawa.

“In addition to the capital, Yola, the towns of Michika, Madagali and Mubi which had been occupied by Boko Haram during their military advances have since been retaken by the Nigerian military, whose personnel are also clearing litters of Boko Haram’s carnage and are, through the support of the administration as well as local and international partners, rebuilding roads and bridges, power lines, burnt schools, markets, destroyed churches and mosques.”

“Without an iota of doubt, the Northeast is better off with President Buhari than it was under the previous administration,” the presidency said.

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