In the August 2 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Remigius highlighted some of the support that the Diocese of Makurdi is providing to the IDPs, ranging from “core relief items” such as food, clothing and blankets, to education and health.
Describing the situation in most camps as dire, the JPC official said, “I went there in our last food intervention to give out what my friends in Rome had sent us and what I saw was sad. The shelters are in a deplorable condition. There are no toilets and no water. This is the highest level of malnutrition I have seen.”
Fr. Remigius explained that the food support came from the Centro Missionario Daniele Comboni, Riccione in Italy, with some support from the Parishes of the Diocese.
In the Diocese of Makurdi, the Good Friday collection is also set aside to support victims of terrorist attacks.
Aside from the food items, the Nigerian Catholic Diocese has also enlisted services of psychosocial support providers who address the many cases of trauma in IDP camps.
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Fr. Remigius said that the Diocese, through the justice and peace department, has also been vocal on the political dimension of insecurity in Nigeria, which he said the government has been taking advantage of to gain mileage.
“We realized that the government has been playing politics with this unfortunate situation in Nigeria. For a while, they tried to propagate the false narrative that it was the Fulanis who were being attacked and killed. But we know the truth and we have been trying to tell this truth to the rest of the world,” the Catholic Priest told ACI Africa August 2.
He expressed gratitude to the Catholic agencies that have been working hard to amplify the story of Makurdi Diocese, adding, “We thank Aid to the Church in need, Denis Hurley Peace Institute and you, ACI Africa. You have all been very helpful in telling our story to the outside world.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.