A photo depicting a clergyman dressed in a purple-and-white cassock with a rifle cradled in his arms has gone viral.
The photo was apparently taken in a church.
He appeared to have posed for the camera, maintaining a sombre mien, close to an altar bedecked in white and purple clothes and a pair of glasses sitting on it.
The picture was posted online by a Facebook user, Achike Onwuazo.
In the post, Onwuazo alluded to the priest’s readiness against any Boko Haram or herdsmen attack.
Onwuazo wrote, “Carry go, my blessed Rev. Father. He who is surrounded by his enemies (Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram) is always alert.
“That’s the latest way forward.”
Other Facebook users praised the priest for arming himself.
One Ayalogu Emmanuel called for the enactment of a law allowing civilians to use heavy firearms.
“Please, how can I get my own AK-47 rifle? The National Assembly should be thinking of passing a bill to legalise the use of machine guns,” he said.
Another commenter, Meg Barn, said it would be a good idea to not only arm church priests but also the parishioners.
“Watch and pray; they (religious leaders) should arm their parishioners too. There is no church without the laity,” she said.
Commending the priest in the picture, a Facebook user, Achukwu Achike, also said, “Very good; God help those who help themselves.”
Igwe Murphy Okwudili, stated, “That will deter them (herdsmen) from constantly invading people’s lands and property.”
But another user of the social media platform, Halliday Charles, said, “God doesn’t help those who help or can help themselves. God helps the helpless; God defends the defenceless. The strength of God is made perfect in our weakness.”
In August last year, a Catholic seminarian, Lazarus Nwafor, was killed during the invasion of Attakwu community by armed herdsmen.
The seminarian was murdered during an early morning attack on the community, which is located in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Efforts made by our correspondent to confirm the identity and reason the clergyman posed with the gun were unsuccessful as Onwuazo neither responded to his ‘friend request’ or messages on Facebook.