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Read this in context. I haven’t gone into a physical church for worship in a long while. This year, I attempted twice. Once in Lagos for a friend’s child dedication, another in Abuja when I was visiting Chinaemerem Joseph

The next time I was inside a physical church was this day here pictured, St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo. I didn’t go to pray but to cover that senseless murder of worshippers by armed men that happened right inside the church.

Clearly, I am dealing with trauma. I freeze at the imagination of entering any physical church building. It used to be one of my random spiritual acts- just pop into a church and centre for a few minutes and get back to busy life.

Today, that can only be an imagination for me. When I hear people say they are going for physical church service, I really freeze. It is trauma and I am aware.

But realistically speaking, it is a courageous act to attend physical church in Nigeria today and I salute those who still do. It’s important, make no mistake for many people. But I really say it’s a courageous thing to do in today’s Nigeria where physical places of worship particularly churches have become soft targets for attacks.

And I end by saying therefore, that churches must PRIORITISE security. Actual armed security personnel. Not those unarmed guys frisking gadgets at you before you get into church. No, those guys are the most vulnerable to think of it.

Places of worship in Nigeria should be guarded. Don’t leave it to “it’s well” and “God will take care of us” shenanigans. Your faith must go hand in hand with requisite action at this point.

Amaka Okoye

Amaka Okoye

A seasoned and an award-journalist who has practiced both in and outside of Nigeria. She has covered varied beats but her forte is Conflict and Crisis Reporting. She majors in reporting terrorism, banditry and abductions in the Northern part of Nigeria.

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