In view of attacks targeted at Christians and churches and following threats by the dreaded Boko Haram sect that its next target would be people of the Southern parts ofNigeria, the management of Assumpta Catholic church, the Cathedral of the Owerri Ecclesiastical province has instituted precautionary measures to avoid any unwarranted attack at the church premises.
The dreaded Boko Haram members have continued to unleash terror to Christians by bombing churches and places of Christian worship in the Northern part of the country in recent time.
Part of the safety measures, Imo Weekend Trumpeta gathered was the re-designation of entrance and exit to and fro the ageless Cathedral located at control post roundabout.
Instead of entering the church premises through the main gate, for church service and other religious activities, visitors especially worshipers to the cathedral are now required to pass through the other gates leading to the Assumpta bookshop and Father’s House under strict check and surveillance where visitors are subjected to search of car booths and necessary items unlike before when visitors drive in freely.
Apart from the stationing of a security patrol team comprising police and soldiers.
In front of Assumpta Cathedral and within the environs, vehicles are no longer allowed to park near the cathedral building especially the entrance from the main gate.
Imo Weekend Trumpeta observed several sign posts with inscription “No Parking” statement at strategic designation inside the cathedral complex. About five of such sign posts were littered inside the complex. Vehicles are no longer allowed within the cathedral for security purposes.
Efforts to speak to the Owerri Archdiocese Archbishop, His Lordship, Archbishop Anthony Obinna on the new security measure proved abortive as he was said to have traveled out of town but a priest who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the new security measure might not be unconnected to the security situation in the country especially in the Northern part of the country where churches and Christian worship centers are targets of Boko Haram sect, the cleric noted that the church is trying to be proactive to ensure protection of lives and properties.
Meanwhile, apparently aware of the devastating effects of the activities of Boko Haram sect and the renewed threat to Southern states, security agencies in Imo state are said to have strengthened their positions at ensuring that residents of the state go about their normal business without threats. All business operated by foreigners especially Arabs in the state are under close observation while the activities of some high profile Northerners are also monitored.