Following an attack on it, the Celestial Church Christ (CCC), SBJ Oshofa Parish, Wasinmi in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, has made a move to forestall future assualts.
The church assembled youths of the church into what it called “security outfit” in a bid to tackle insecurity challenges around the church.
In June, a group of kidnappers stormed the church during a vigil and abducted two members.
The victims were later freed after the abductors reportedly took N1 million ransom and some other items.
The Shepherd of the parish, Oluwatomisin Ehuwaojomo, said the incident had forced the church to rethink and come up with a security strategy in the face of “escalating insecurity in the state and Nigeria.”
He spoke at the inauguration of the security team branded “Community Heritage and Monument Policing”, as part of the activities marking this year’s harvest celebration of the church.
The clergyman explained that the outfit had been registered under the Ogun State Community, Social Orientation and Safety Corps (So-Safe Corps).
According to him, beyond serving as worship centres, churches and mosques are monuments and heritage that must be secured most especially in the face of insecurity challenges facing the country.
“The best thing is for you to secure yourself. Already, we can see what is going on in Nigeria. You can see what happened at Kuje prison. The best thing now is that everybody should start to defend and protect his/herself.
“We need to initiative our own idea and to inculcate the awareness for security into the church members’ mind.
“After the inauguration today, the next thing is to absolve them into the So-Safe corps training. They will be able to carry weapons, ammunitions and will be able to work not only in the church but anywhere,” the clergyman said.
Speaking on the kidnap incident, the Shepherd explained that the kidnappers came for him, but he was fortunate to escape.
While expressing worry that no arrest has been made in respect of the abduction, Ehuwaojomo said the perpetrators must be brought to book in order to serve as deterrent to others.
“I told God that I want to see their (kidnappers) faces so that it will lead to an end to such menace in the society. Not only their own, people who cover their faces to do evil, we have to see their faces. I implore the Nigerian government to rise up to the task. Where there were kidnappings, no one has been brought to book. It’s unfortunate,” he said.
The State Commander of So-Safe Corps, Soji Ganzallo, warned the church security team against compromise, saying “it’s not enough to take up the job without being responsible.”
Ganzallo, who was represented by Deputy Commander, Akindipe Abidemi, promised continuous support of the corps to the church and its security team towards providing maximum security of lives and property.