The prevalent insecurity in Nigeria has been identified as a major reason why pastors need more than divine protection to operate without harm, in the country.
This is the position of most clerics, who spoke to Sunday Telegraph during a recent survey.
According to the General Overseer, Kings in Christ Church, Rev. Chidi Anthony: “It borders on foolishness for any pastor to ignore police protection, giving the scary security situation in Nigeria.”
The survey became necessary because many people have been wondering why many servants of God go about with heavy police presence as if the Almighty God had withdrawn his divine protection, which he so generously bestows on clerics according to the Holy Scripture.
Responding to the survey, wife of the General Overseer, Victorious Army Church, Pastor Blessing Agboli, said: “That does not mean we do not need security coverage. Once in a while, we need police protection, especially when you hear of fellow men of God being kidnapped, robbed or even killed. There are several cases of kidnaps happening every now and then.
“When you are travelling outside your station to a place where you don’t know what the security aspect looks like, you need security, especially in a society like ours where we have issues of kidnapping, insecurity in the system. Besides, the security agencies in the country are now coming to advise churches on security.”
She, however, added: “But I don’t like the extravagant ones, like pastors going with long convoy of Police outriders, siren blowing. We don’t need that; but once in a while, if we are having conventions and very important personalities are attending, they need protection because of the security situation in this country.
Such persons will ask you if you have made adequate security arrangement. Yes; I don’t like it when a pastor is moving and a security man carrying a gun is following him about. The guns should be hidden.”
Some analysts are, however, not impressed with the reasons advanced by the men in the collars for resorting to ‘human’ protection: “It is tantamount to loss of faith in the Almighty God’s ability to protect his servant, if under any guise men of God have to rely on police protection,” Jude Okeke argued.
On the other hand, Pastor Ayodeji Oluwadare of Hebrews International Church, Lekki, explained that even Jesus Christ at a time had Apostle Peter walking beside him with a machete to check people he considered as a security threat to the Lord Jesus Christ.