In reaction to online reports on the alleged attack on Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese,Archbishop AJv Obinna. Imo State Commissioner of Finance, Barr Obinna Mbata has opened up on what transpired at the church service where the Catholic Archbishop was allegedly attacked.
Mbata who said he was an eye witness at the event wrote on this newswebsite whatss up platform in which is reproduced below
“His Lordship was not ‘attacked’ because he expressed his opinion, I was physically present and would give a concise brief on what transpired.
“While I would not bore you with a minute by minute recount of what happened, in summary, the Lord Arch bishop brought heavy criticism against the Governor and some aspects of governance as my lord perceived it.
He condemned certain actions, some of which he labelled ‘dictatorcracy’ against the government and took a potshot too at a serving Senator, Anyanwu, whom he accused of promising to do a road without fulfilling the promise.
“Important to note however is that while he dished out the criticisms, the congregation was calm and the folks he was referring to and largely accussing maintained a very calm demeanor. My lord, just like anyone, is entitled to his/her opinion and criticism of what they perceive as wrong.
“However, where the plot was lost, this was a funeral Mass remember, was when his lordship started allowing some folks, who were neither family members of the deceased, or priests, from the crowd, without consent of the mourners, to come to the front of the altar to say stuff in support of the government, and against the government. And the last speaker that spoke, did so after whispering stuff in his lordship’s ears, was given the Mic by his lordship and he started campaigning for a political party and an individual in that party…from the front of the altar, at a funeral Mass. So it wasn’t a surprise when other folks now surged forward to approach the altar to have their own say and voice their discontent at the goings-on. The security personnel, DSS and Police who were inside the church did well to push back the surge, including the regular folks from Egbelu Obube who all surged forward to catch a front row glimpse of the unfolding drama.
“If anything, one would commend the carriage of some folks like Her Excellency, the Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, the former SSG, Ejiogu, the Speaker and similar folks who maintained calmness and largely avoided making utterances or appearing excitable, which would only have been read wrongly. They allowed their security personnel, the members of the burial committee, the person of Prince Alex Mbata – who was visibly angry at all the drama of allowing unauthorised folks, who weren’t family members of the deceased, to come from the crowd to speak and make inciting comments, at a funeral- to calm the situation down.
“At no time was his lordship at risk of personal harm, nor was any priest, and the priests were also very helpful in asking people back to their seats and confirming that no one else was to be allowed to come forward to speak. No one crossed the protective cover at the front of the altar.
“After calmness was restored, the funeral Mass quickly ended, and his lordship, during the recession, approached the pew where the Speaker, Her Excellency, the Chief of Staff and Sir Jude, were seated, and had handshakes with them, before exiting from the church.