The attack on the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, AJV Obinna at the funeral of the mother of the pro chancellor of Imo State University, Owerri, Chief Alex Mbata at Ngwoma was an exhibition of a frosty relationship between the Archbishop and the government of Governor Rochas Okorocha.
After Okorocha’s re- election in 2011 which the Archbishop and the Catholic Church contributed immensely to, there has been love lost since then with the Archbishop using every fora to lament on the bad governance of the Okorocha administration.
Before the 2015 governorship election, the Archbishop had organized public debate for governorship aspirants in the State at the Odenigbo pavilion which was disrupted by officials of the State government who alleged that it was a ploy by the Archbishop to whip up sentiments against the Okorocha government.
The Catholic Church had held a similar debate in 2011 where Okorocha carried the day.
This newspaper gathered that the alleged attack on the Archbishop at the funeral of the mother of the IMSU Pro Chancellor was an accumulation of a rift between the Archbishop and the Okorocha administration.
According to reports, the church service went on smoothly until the Catholic Archbishop in what appeared a direct attack on the State government officials present made a statement on the coming election, calling on Imolites to go and get their Permanent Voters Card. He lamented that despite the establishment of the Ministry of Happiness in the State, the people are not happy over their condition and the situation in the State.
Present at the event was the Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu and wife of the Imo State Governor, Nneoma Nkechi Rochas Okorocha, Senator representing Owerri zone, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and other officials of the State government mainly loyalists of Uche Nwosu whose governorship ambition has been backed the Governor. The Archbishop was reported to have said that Imo State needs a seasoned administrator as its next Governor, a direct attack on Uche Nwosu who has the ambition to take over from Governor Okorocha in 2019.
Infuriated by such comments, an APC chieftain and GM ENTRACO, Mr. Jeff Nwoha was said to have rushed to Archbishop in an attempt to take away the microphone from him but for prompt intervention of other priests, knights and other Christian fathers who rushed to wade him off. This led to a rowdy session as seen on the video that went viral on the internet last night.
There was no physical attack on the Archbishop as Obinna stayed calm where he was seated on the altar as insults were hurled at him. The IMSU Pro Vice Chancellor, Alex Mbata infuriated at the development and shocked at the desecration of the altar of God called everyone to order.
BELOW IS VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT.