Anambra killing: Where went the watchman?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

How did the shooters in the Ozubulu Massacre gain unchecked access into the building?

While still in shock about the tragedy that occurred, the process of finding out why this event was allowed to occur must now be initiated, beginning with the question above.

Moral questions about why the authorities of the Church accepted money from the known drug lord, or infrastructural inquiries about why there was no light in the Church at the point of attack are not relevant. The Church only collecting money directly from God himself or twenty-four hour power supply would not have guaranteed that this would not happen. This is not to play down on the fact that the Church was seen as a property of Bishop’s incited the attack, but could it not have been stopped from happening?

Security is ordinarily seen as the business of the Government, but private organisations provide for their safety with hired personnel for their gates. Places of worship in the North and parts of Abuja which have experienced attacks of terrorism have tightened up their security apparatus to put up a wall against possible show of aggression.

Observing security checks on Sundays at Churches, it is not uncommon to notice the resentment on the faces of worshippers when subjected to scans and screenings by security personnel. There is the feeling that they are being insulted when requests are made for bag checks, not acknowledging the necessity of the preventive measures being taken against unfortunate eventualities.

The Ozubulu shooting is obviously an exceptional case, given the peculiarity of the characters but can it be that the shooters could not have been prevented from entering the gates of the Church compound? An eyewitness account has it that there was a car waiting for the shooter(s) outside, in which case it would have been that the gun man entered singularly. With a check beginning at the gates, the worst case would have been that any injuries would be restricted to personnel on security duties; the barbaric blood spill in the Church hall would not have happened.

At all places and at all times, people must learn that safety and security should be a paramount priority. Whether it be a Church or hotel, it should not be normal to walk through the gates of a building without a word from the person keeping watch. If you are not asked, perhaps you should ask.

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