Enugu Catholic Diocese has said the church is not considering hiring bodyguards to follow its priest despite being victims of kidnappers in recent times.
The Director of Communication of the diocese, Rev. Father Ben Achi, said this in an interview recently.
Most Rev Felix Ajakaye, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, and the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev. John Oyejola, in separate interviews with our correspondent ruled out the possibility of hiring bodyguards for priests including bishops.
Rev Father Clement Ugwu was kidnapped at his parish, St. Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in the Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State and his decomposing body was later found in the bush some days after.
The Parish Priest of St. Theresa Catholic Church Ankwa in the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State Rev Fr. John Shekwolo was abducted last Monday.
However, Achi said the church was not considering securing guards to follow the priest around, adding that doing so would hinder them from serving the people they were called to serve.
Achi said, “We do not go about with security guards because priests are supposed to be in the service of the people. We are not thinking of securing guards to follow the priests around. It is not our style. But maybe in the course of time we can think of how to guard the places of residence of priests.’
Also, the bishop of Osogbo Diocese said some churches could hire bodyguards for their pastors but Catholic Church wouldn’t do that.
He said, “Our protection is in God’s hands. God is our security. But that does not mean that we should proceed on a trip when we know that danger lies ahead. We cannot hire those who will protect us. The money we will use for that is poor people’s money and we are supposed to use that money for them.’’
On his part, Ajakaye said priests were like other members of society, stating that security should be everybody’s concern.