Raphael Ede, Enugu and Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Anger, awe and condemnations have continued to trail the bombing of Holy Cross Catholic Church parish, Iji-Nike in Enugu State.
Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Callistus Onaga, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Abakaliki, Rt. Rev. Monday Nkwoagu, Bishop of the Greater Riches of Grace Bible Church, Dr Anayo Ilo who spoke separately described the explosion as an attack on God.
Onaga also labelled the incident as worrisome adding that though the explosion was minor, as police described it, it would have caused a stampede if it had exploded at the time Mass was in progress.
While he called on those behind the heinous act to desist, Bishop Onaga urged government and security agencies to act fast before it got out of hand.
Also reacting, Rt. Rev. Nkwoagu said most Nigerians, especially the Christians, have lost confidence in the security architecture of the country.
“The security of this country is very porous. The truth is that some of us have lost confidence in the security system of this country because you’ll be there and see things happening; people would be attacked and the attackers would go free.
“And all these while, they have not paraded any person at all. You will begin to wonder why it is like that in this country. So, Nigeria today, security wise, I think we are in trouble. Nobody is sure of anything any day.
“As for the attack on the church, this is not the first time. A lot of things have been happening against the church. You see shooting and killing of Christians while they are worshipping inside the church; bombing of churches and things like that all over Nigeria.
“It appears Christians are not safe in their own country. I think it is a critical matter that must be taken seriously by the government because the security of citizens is their primary duty. In this country, I don’t know whether government care about this at all.
“So, the attack has been going on. This is not the first time they are attacking churches and killing Christians and things like that. This is a direct attack on God.”
Bishop Ilo also condemned the explosions, which he labeled as an attack against the body of Christ.
“This is a very big attack against the church and it should be totally condemned by every well meaning individual. And it may likely be coming from the enemies of the church. You may be surprised that it will be traced down to the Fulani herdsmen. It is unbelievable that what has never happened before in our region has started happening now starting from Enugu. It means that nobody is safe.
“That’s why I am saying that everybody should be security conscious now because nobody knows who will be the next victim. This attack on the church this morning simply means that there is no security in this country at all.
“This is how it started in Maiduguri some years ago. Boko Haram started by burning churches. And once one church is bombed, every other church has been affected. I am calling on all Christian leaders, irrespective of their affiliations, to rise up to the occasion and condemn it,” the cleric added.
The explosion reportedly occurred around 5:40am when the worshipers were gathering for mass.
The parish priest in-charge of the church, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okwor told newsmen that the sound shook the church so much that people in the neighbourhood were confused while those in church scampered for safety.
Meanwhile, security sources who witnessed the incident said it was a “pyrotechnic type of IED” carried out by the same syndicate that carried out the one at the home of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo president general, Chief Nnia Nwodo last week.
Police spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu who confirmed the explosion on telephone described it as a minor explosion.
He said people should not panic as the police has already commenced investigating into the incident.