The world is slowly coming to terms with a new and incomprehensible dimension of violence in which unknown gunmen sprayed worshipers at a church in Anambra State earlier this morning. The details are still sketchy but no fewer than 40 worshipers might have perished. Anambra State in Southeast Nigeria is about the most Catholic state in Nigeria. That axis has been a hotbed of kidnapping for ransom but nothing of a targeted attack on a church has been part of it.
Some media organisations have reported the Anambra State governor, Mr Willie Obiano as appealing for calm after a visit to the scene of the attack which is being linked in some media reports to be fall out of hullabaloo in a drug gang. If this is correct, the church might have been a mind boggling collateral damage. This attack is bound to introduce strengthening of security around places of worship across Nigeria, much of which are screening fortresses already.
Boko Haram attack on churches has been a common feature in recent years but not this type of attack. Mr Garba Baba Umar, the Anambra State Commissioner for Police has confirmed the attack to Channels Television which reported that security operatives are on the heels of the attackers.