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many people have been wondering why many servants of God go about with heavy police presence as if the Almighty God had withdrawn his divine protection, which he so generously bestows on clerics according to the Holy Scripture.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, siring 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 machete to check people he considered as security threat to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He explained: “As one is growing in life, there will always be need for security protection. Even Jesus at a time, Peter took his sword and cut off the eye of somebody that came to arrest Jesus Christ.
When you are a young pastor, you may not be a security risk; but as you are growing in life, there is need for police protection. “Like Baba Adeboye, he did not use to go around with security detail, but one day, he went to somewhere in Yaba and Area-boys bombarded him.
Now it is difficult for him to go about without police protection. Also, it is difficult to host huge events without having security agents around to control the crowd. You need to guard your environment. It is very important that you need to guard yourself and your environment,” Oluwadare added. According to Oluwadare, this also applies not only to pastors but everyone.
“Even as you are praying, Bible says watch and pray. But many people just pray; they don’t watch. What I am saying in essence is that it is foolish for men of God to ignore police protection. Wisdom demands that security considerations should be taken into account.
The Bible says, we should be as wise as a serpent,” he explained. Unfortunately, kidnapping, robbery and killing of clerics has been on the increase in the country. In Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State, unknown gunmen kidnapped a senior pastor with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev Yusuf Magaga.
The abductors later demanded a N2 million ransom. Similarly, three clerics of the Taraya Ekklesiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria (Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, TEKAN), including their President, Dr Emmanuel Dziggau; his deputy, Rev. Illiya Anto, and a retired reverend in the church, Yakubu Dzarma, were kidnapped along Kaduna-Abuja Road.
The abductors later demanded N100 million as ransom; but when one of the kidnapped clerics died in captivity, the kidnappers released the surviving pastors.
Still in Kaduna State, two other ECWA reverends, Pastor Joshua Kantiok and Pastor Yakubu Samaila, were also taken captive when kidnappers traced them to their farmland but were released after the kidnappers collected N500, 000 ransom from them.
A reverend of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Akobo-Ojurin, Diocese of Agodi, Ibadan, Dr. Biodun Ogunbekun, is another kidnap victim. Besides, the men in the collars are also targets of robbers and Islamic fundamentalist. Female RCCG Preacher, Eunice Olawale, was murdered by suspected Islamic fundamentalists in Abuja a few months ago.
Incidentally, the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, used to have very limited security details around him until an attempt was made on the life of Pope John Paul II in Rome on May 13, 1981 by a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca. Since then, security around the Pontiff has been noticeably stepped up.
These are just a few examples of men and women of God falling victims of ungodly acts perpetuated by their fellow human beings.

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