In response to the terror attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State last Sunday, the Christian Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to enact a law permitting individuals to carry firearms.
This was as security agencies assured residents of ample security in places of worship.
At least 40 people were confirmed dead in the gruesome attack by gunmen in Owo, last week Sunday.
As a result of the incident, the ancient town of Owo has been mourning while one of our correspondents in Ondo reports that no open religious programme has been held in Owo and Akure since the tragic incident occurred.
The Ondo State chapter of CAN has, however, advised church leaders in Ekiti and neighbouring states to beef up security in worship centres.
The association, in a communiqué, also asked its members to suspend vigil programmes for the time being.
The communiqué made available to Sunday PUNCH was signed by the state CAN Chairman, Rev. Fr. Anselm Ologunwa, Secretary, Very Evang. Amos Olomofe, and the Director of Information and Communications of the association, Mr Daisi Ajayi.
The body said, “The present Nigeria Constitution, which prohibits the use of firearms, should be reviewed, to give room for individuals for self-defence, given the prevailing insecurity situation in the country.”
CAN also said it would support the setting up of vigilance groups in every local government area of the state.
Also, the Chairman of the association in Osun State, Bishop Amos Ogunrinde, said churches had been instructed to engage the services of at least two security operatives per church.
He also said churches that could afford it should buy body scanners, ensuring that people were properly searched.
Ogunrinde said churches with perimeter fences should ensure that entrances were locked immediately service commenced.
On his response to the killing in Owo Catholic Church, the Ekiti State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Fr Peter Olowolafe, said, “We have had a discussion with some of our security agencies, particularly the Department of State Services and they have assured us that there is no need for panic.
“I trust them; they said we should not create unnecessary fear for people. We have discussed with our members that people should be more security conscious and that church leaders should get some security personnel so that there will not be any situation like what happened at Owo last week.”
An Owo town resident, Mrs Olaitan Akindele, said she would stop attending church programmes for some time until the government provides security around worship centres.
“This next Sunday, I will pray and worship God in my house. There is no security anywhere,” she said