On Monday 14 January 2013, CSW Nigeria team embarked on a solidarity visit to the village of Umaisha in Nassarawa State,Nigeria where families and victims that were attacked in Yobe state by the deadliest Islamic sect Boko Haram are currently seeking refuge.
The team accompanied by one of the members of the Board of trustee of CSW Nigeria and former national secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Engr. Salifu , the CSW coordinator of Yobe state, Rev. Othniel arrived the village of Umaisha and a looked round the settlement of these Christian families.
After looking round the locally built houses by these families, we noticed the effort of this displaced families to build for themselves houses using mud blocks is somehow being crippled by their inability to purchase some building materials they can’t make themselves Such as zincs, nails, wood, electric poles and borehole. So as to provide them access to clean water.
Rev Adamu Moisayo, 47 father of three give his account to CSW Nigeria on why they ran for refuge from Potiskum Yobe state to this remote village of Umaisha in Nassarawa state. He said we all are familiar with the trouble in northern Nigeria especially the North-East, we have had issues of persecution long before now but our primary reason for running away from Yobe state is the recent series of attack by the Deadly Islamic group “Boko Haram”. He further narrated that among several attacks and killing of innocent Christians in Yobe state, the church he pastor’s Evangelical Winning (ECWA) All at shagari housing estate in Potiskum Yobe state was bombed on the 18 Oct 20012 which terribly affected a lot of his congregation and made it difficult for him to convince anyone to stay because he can’t guaranteed their safety. They have been sleeping in the bush at night then return to their various house in the morning for weeks before finally fleeing Yobe state on Nov 2012 to the village of Umaisha Nassarawa state where one of CWS Nigeria coordinator Rev Orthniell helped secure for them.
In addition Rev Aje Gwani 65, said they are facing the challenge of the source of livelihood in Umaisha since they are strangers here and have nothing to do to enable them provide for their families. Despite these challenges he said, they are grateful to God to be alive. More so Rev Nuhu Maisayo 43 also said that they can’t afford paying school fees for their Children because the fees here in Umaisha are on the high side compared to Yobe state. Government in Yobe state subsidized school fees for indigenes which they benefited while here they don’t benefit on such because they are not indigenes of Nassarawa. They explained that they had to systematically escape from Yobe state leaving their properties and jobs behind. Some were not lucky and lost their lives in the process of trying to run away from Yobe, there are over 23 families now living in the village of Umaisha and 6 families in a neighboring village and others are still coming to join them.
According to their testimonies six (6) people among them have the teachers qualification and averagely there are about 6-7 persons per family which makes the total number of people in their community relatively large.
The CSW Nigeria teams were able to pray with them, encourage them and help them with 15 bundle of roofing Zinc through the generosity of a friend to the organization. Although their needs are much more, we urge them to remain steadfast in prayers and see themselves as evangelist in the village as we sent out their stories to friends and see what God will do on there situation. Finally on behalf of CWS Nigeria, we are calling on you to pray for these families and also partner with us to express and extend the love of Christ to our brothers and sisters whom are in desperate need of health care, education, shelter, water and livelihood. You can give towards the purchase of building materials for their houses, towards the payment of school fees for their children or towards the construction of a borehole to enable them access clean drinkable water. We will be glad to facilitate a trip if you wish to meet them in the village of Umaisha in Nassarawa state, our doors of partnership is always open for you to stand with the oppressed and fight injustice.
CSW Nigeria CEO Rev Y.S nmadu (in white), Engr Salihu(black cap), Rev Orthniel(black Jacket) with some of the victims in their settlement in Umaisha village.
Locally made mud bricks
A yet to be completed mud house
The Victims mixing mud to make a building brick
Site where they dig-out mud to make bricks
CSW team on one of the yet to be completed building
A completed building without windows, doors and roofing
CSW team offering prayer before getting their stories and testimonies
A local shop owner where CSW Nigeria purchase 15 bundle of roofing zinc donated to the victims
Francis Iliya CWS staff presenting the zinc donation