Catholic Diocese of Yola Constructs Mosque for Muslim in IDPs Estate

By Josef  Ishu

The Catholic Bishop of Yola, Most Rev. Stephen Dami Mamza has disclosed that the Diocese has constructed a Mosque for some of the Muslim former Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Sangere-Marghi IDPs Resettlement Estate in Girie Local Government of Adamawa State.

Bishop Mamza disclosed this on Monday, April 12 during the commissioning ceremony of the Sangere-Marghi IDPs Resettlement Estate built by the Catholic Diocese of Yola with the support from Missio Aachen (Germany) and the Catholic Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Francis and other partners. “The Catholic Diocese of Yola from her local resources without any support from anywhere constructed the Mosque for some of our Muslim former IDPs”.

The Bishop revealed further that the Diocese has provided water through the support of Misereor Germany that provided 5 Boreholes and Engineer Felix of Field Drill Company provided one additional borehole; food had been stable.

He however appealed to the national emergency management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for continuous support until stability is achieved. “Sanitation, and health services (PHCDA), infrastructure and education should be readily available in the local community in order to sustain its population at the most basic level and serve as a platform for further reconstruction and development”.

The Bishop said he will continue to advocate for the ex-IDPs population to have access to livelihoods, which will enable them to rebuild their lives and give them a sense of ownership in the reconstruction of their new resettlement here in Sangere-Marghi.

The Local Ordinary recalled that the project is a tall dream come true since the Catholic Diocese of Yola first opened its doors to host IDPs since Sunday September 15, 2014 after the fall of some Local Governments in Northern Adamawa following the attacks of Boko Haram on local villagers. “At the height of the displacement in October 2014 when Mubi town and environs came under Boko Haram occupation, thousands fled into Yola and approached us for food and shelter. It was at this time that St. Theresa’s IDPs Camp housed 4,700 persons”.

He said their efforts to take care of the IDPs for the past 7 years will not have been possible without the assistance from their major partner Missio Aachen (Germany) and support from His Holiness Pope Francis. “We also had support from the following organizations: Misereor in (Germany), Caritas, ICRC, OXFAM, CISCOPE, IRC, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, St. Vincent de Paul Society (Lekki Deanery Archdiocese of Lagos), Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (Port-Harcourt), Sisters of Mercy (Republic of Ireland), Order of St. Augustine (Irish Province), Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, De Zeit Newspaper (Germany), DRC, API, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN-OCHA etc.

Bishop Mamza’s gesture was to fulfill the Biblical injunction contained in Mattew Gospel 25: 35b, which says “I was a stranger and you invited me in…”, hence the project is tagged: “Hope for the Homeless: Sangere-Marghi IDPs Resettlement Estate”.

Those in attendance at the commissioning ceremony include: His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Executive Governor Adamawa State) and your entourage, Our Special Guests of honour Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah (Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese) and Most Rev. Bulus Yohanna Bishop of Kontagora Diocese, His Royal Highness, the Lamido of Adamawa Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, The District head of Girie the Chairman Girie Local Government Hon. Judah Daddo. My Friend and Colleague, the Chairman of Muslim Council, Alhaji Gambo Jika, All INGOs present specially led by UN-OCHA, Heads of Security Agencies etc.