Following the incessant bomb attacks in northern Nigeria and threats to bomb Kaduna by the Boko Haram Islamic sect, many churches in the metropolis have resorted to searching worshippers prior to service on Sunday and other days to ensure no deadly explosive gets taken inside their church building.
The security measures are coming on the heels of rumours of the possibility of Boko Haram attacks over the weekend. In the churches visited, metal detector devices were seen being used to search persons on their way into the building. The thorough search include emptying of contents of any bag.
The security department of Restoration Bible Church, Sabo, had a hectic day during last Sunday’s service vetting worshippers before they were allowed in, just as armed mobile police officers and soldiers mounted heavy surveillance around most of the churches within Kaduna metropolis. Female worshippers were searched by women security volunteers who ask them to hand over their handbags for examination.
At another church in the city centre, security officials blocked all entrance and exit points leaving open only one door for members to go in, at which bomb detectors were used on everyone going into the building.
Further, those entering the church premises with cars were compelled to open the boot for the contents to be verified before they being allowed to drive in, and the cars required to be parked very far away from the church building.
A security official at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Taiwo Road, told NEXT that though the search was unusual, it was a proactive measure introduced by the church to preempt any incident of bomb attack against members of the church during and after service.
“Everybody is now scared of the Boko Haram because of their system of operation. And nobody can say when they will attack. Therefore, what we can only do is to put some security measures in place to ensure that nobody comes into the church with dangerous weapons,” he said.
Due to the threat by the sect members to bomb Kaduna last weekend, there was tension in the state as many churches witnessed low turnout of members during service.