Reduced attendance as Osun churches hold service under tight security 

Many churches across Osun State on Sunday mobilised security men to provide security during service to prevent attack from hoodlums after a Facebook page with the name ‘Anonymous’ shared a message about plans to attack a church in the state.

The post partly read, “A Church with the name St Mary Catholic Church at a region called Osun region is again targeted for attacks. People close to this church must be made to understand the situation. 23rd July as a date given, we urge everyone out there to get this message across to the church and its management. Just like the OWO massacre which we warned, we shall not be happy if this is ignored as the St Francis was. The casualties would be numerous. We warn again!.”

The post had gone viral on Saturday causing panic among the residents.

In response to the threat, many of the churches visited around Kelebe, Ayekale, Ogo Oluwa, Okefia, and Testing Ground areas -all within the Osogbo metropolis, had police operatives deployed to them to provide security.

Also, in some of the churches visited, especially the small ones, though security men were deployed, many of those seen were not armed, but armed security men were deployed to the big churches.

At the entrance to Saint Benedict Catholic Cathedral, Popo, Osogbo, armed police operatives were observed at the entrance.

Similarly, at the State Headquarters of the Living Faith Church, West bypass, Osogbo, armed police operatives were also observed, likewise Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Ayotoro, where Amotekun Corps and hunters were joined by the police to provide security for the worshippers.

Despite the security presence, there was however noticeable drop in the number of worshippers that turned up for the service in many churches.

In some of the churches visited, time for the service was shortened, as people hurried out of the premises to their different destinations.

Some worshippers in the churches visited, told our correspondent they were not aware of the threat message before coming to church and called on the government to ensure adequate security for the lives and property of the residents.

A worshipper, simply identified as Cletus, during an interview with our correspondent said, “I heard about the threat message and I was scared. I have to summon courage and come to church. But it is obvious, many people did not come for service today because of the threat.”

When contacted for an update on the issue on Sunday, Osun State Police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, said personnel were deployed to all parts of the state.

She said, “We deployed across the state after studying the situation and so far, so good, no case of security breach.”

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