A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha has kicked against the assault meted on the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese by some officials of the Imo State Government at St. Michael’s Catholic Church Ngwoma-Obube in Owerri North Local Government Area during a burial mass in honour of the Late Mother of Chief Alex Mbata.
According to a statement, the former Deputy Speaker is piqued that such “reprehensible conduct could be exhibited in the house of God by those who are supposed to protect the citizenry”.
He stated that nothing can justify the assault on the catholic Archbishop by the state government officials, pointing out that such “barbaric action by apologists of Governor Rochas Okorocha is indicative of the rot and malaise the present administration is infested with”.
According to him, “it is even more appalling that both the governor’s wife, Nkechi Okorocha and his Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, who were present in the church, maintained conspiratorial silence. They did nothing to call their miscreants to order. More worrisome, is that this administration has sustained its notoriety with desecration of our value system”.
Rt. Hon. Ihedioha stated that “Okorocha should immediately tender an unreserved apology to Archbishop Obinna and the entire catholic community in Imo State for such reprehensible conduct by his unruly aides”. He stated that what happened in the church was most unfortunate, stressing however, this is not the first time such desecration of the house of God was perpetrated by Okorocha’s aides.
“Remember the incident of 2015 governorship debate at Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri. Hired hoodlums by the state government brazenly pulled down the podium already built and decorated for the event on the watchful eyes of the same Uche Nwosu, the Chief of staff. This development is indeed one of the series of abominations which we have continued to witness under Okorocha’s administration”, Ihedioha stressed.
In his reaction, a governorship aspirant on the platform of Green Party of Nigeria, Hon Stephen Chiadikaobi Emeghara has condemned in strong terms treatment meted to the revered Man of God, saying that such amounts to not only an affront to Christians everywhere but also a complete desecration of an institution of God.
Speaking in an interview in Owerri, he bemoaned the erosion of moral and religious values in the State and regretted that those in high places have rather chosen to aid and abet this anomie rather than address it.
The media advertising expert stated that the Archbishop as a man chosen by God to herd his flock owe it as a responsibility and an obligation to speak truth to power when the people are oppressed, and must never be persecuted for doing so. He said the suffering in the land has become unprecedented in Imo State.
He said the economy of the State been so poorly managed and plunged into debt crisis and unemployment by the pres
ent administration, stating that the way out is not by harassing the messenger of God or intimidate critics of the government
Hon Emeghara called on the people of the State to put their trust in God and realize that the signs of an end to their plight are now clearer. He enjoined the Church in the State to keep praying for the Archbishop, describing him as a blessing to the people from God. He called on Imoites to get their Permanent Voters Card to enable them cast their votes at the elections.