The Pastor-in-Charge, Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa ‘A’ Nigeria Church of The Brethren in Nigeria, Utako, Abuja, Rev. Daniel Mbaya, on Sunday said the church had so far lost no fewer than 109 of its members since Boko Haram began to attack churches in the North.
He said the church members were killed during the sect’s attacks on about 50 branches of the church.
Mbaya said this in his sermon during the last Sunday of the year service of the church attended by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The text of his sermon titled, Working with God, was taken from Genesis 5: 22-24.
Mbaya said: “Our church which, is predominantly in the North-East is worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgence.
“About 50 of our churches have been burnt and 109 of our members killed in the North by Boko Haram.”
While noting that Jonathan was the first President to worship in any branch of the church since its inception, the cleric said the visit would further restore the confidence of members of the church nationwide.
He said the President’s visit was also demonstration that the country was “blessed with a caring, loving and concerned leader”.
Jonathan commended members of the church for remaining peaceful, in spite of Boko Haram’s attacks on their branches.
He said, despite the spate of insecurity in parts of the country, 2013 would be a good year for Nigerians.
Jonathan said: “Boko Haram will not push us backwards.
“If their plan is to stop government from providing dividends of democracy, they would not succeed, because 2013 will be a good year for Nigerians and Nigeria.”
Jonathan said the measures put in place by the security agencies were already yielding results as many of the sect’s plans to cause havoc during the Yuletide were nipped in the bud.
He said: “Boko Haram planned to carry out a lot of attacks on Christmas Day, but we suppressed their plans, their plans were not executed because of the strategies put in place by security agencies.
“Although, we still recorded some incidents but the extent of attacks which they planned was not allowed to be executed.”
Jonathan said with the prayers of Nigerians, he was confident that the sect would be defeated.
The President wondered how terrorism and suicide bombings, which were alien to the country, had suddenly found their way into Nigeria.
He promised that the country under him would witness improvements in all sectors.