Owerri Catholic Archbishop, Most Reverend Anthony Obinna escapes assault from Governor Okorocha's wife, other government officials

www.odogwublog.com reports that ahead of the 2019 elections, safe for the quick intervention of Church members, officials under Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Saturday nearly assaulted the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Revd Anthony Obinna over his purported comments over good governance.

Wife of the Governor, Dr Nkechi Okorocha and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Uche Nwosu and other dignitaries had attended the funeral mass of Mrs Mbata, mother of Chief Alex Mbata, the Pro-Chancellor of the Imo State University (IMSU) in Ngwoma Obube, Owerri North local government area of the State.

The Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Pascal Nnadi and senator Samuel Anyanwu representing Imo East were also in attendance
during the church service which ended in a fiasco. 

During the homily, Archbishop Obinna had complained over the amount and manner of information put out on social media by supporters of Governor Okorocha and his Chief of Staff, saying decorum should be employed.

While he lamented on the suffering of the people, the Catholic cleric said those people employed to get endorsements for Chief Nwosu should be careful and allow the electorate to decide on who should represent them. 

The fiery cleric charged the congregation to register and get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) saying with it, they will exercise their franchise during elections. 

A source who identified himself simply as Mr Ebube said the All Progressive Congress (APC) members accused the cleric of campaigning for the People's Democratic Party during the homily.

Archbishop Obinna commended Chief Mbata for constructing a 10kilometre road for his community, and urged the State Government to replicate the same. 

However, a member of the APC, Mr Chris Ekwueme interjected the prelate saying that there were also good roads constructed by the state government.

Afterwards, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Iyke Ehiriwe spoke and lampooned the Rescue Mission government of Okorocha, and this infuriated some of the associates of the State government.

Irked by the PDP member's assertion,APC members who came with the government functionaries ,invaded the alter and demanded to be given opportunity to speak but the prelate declined them.

Our correspondent gathered that the church was let loose, as APC members alleged that the Archbishop was campaigning against them, and held the church to ransom for a long time.

It took several appeals by some Reverend Fathers for normalcy to return and the archbishop allowed to complete his speech before the benediction was said.

Specifically, General Manager of ENTRACO, Mr Jeff Nwoha alongside his subordinates tried to stop  the politician and speak but the man refused.

Sensing danger, Archbishop Obinna retreated to the altar while Jeff and his men tried to gain access but were withheld by other Priests and knights in attendance.

However, the incident sparked off criticisms against the State Government especially as the two State officials were alleged to have made no attempt to intervene in the ensuing crisis.

Meanwhile, the Director of Media and Communications of the Owerri catholic archdiocese, Rev Fr.George Nwachukwu who spoke to via telephone said "The archbishop and the archdiocese have decided to take no action against the APC members who assaulted the church. We have taken the assault on the Archbishop the same way Jesus was insulted, assaulted and humiliated on the cross of calvary".

Further he said " we have left it in the hands of God .The assault to the church and the Archbishop was very painful, provoking and highly unwarranted but we have resolved to press no charges but to leave it in the hands of God ".

However, media aide to the chief of staff to the Governor, Mr Chikezie Nwadike said he was at the church service, told our correspondent that APC members were not to be blamed .

Nwadike maintained alleged that the PDP member who came out to campaign in church was to be blamed for the uproar, adding that the Archbishop was not assaulted by the APC members.

Meanwhile, calls put through to Jeff Nwoha to react over the allegations levelled against him were not answered as he rejected the calls.

Archbishop Obinna has come under verbal attacks from Governor Okorocha's aides after the award he gave to former Governor of the State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, last month, wherein the cleric was alleged to be involving himself in the murky waters of politics. 

Meanwhile, reacting to the assault claims, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Mr Sam Onwuemodo in a statement issued on Sunday said said they do not intend to join issues with anyone over the incident until Archibishop Obinna himself talks on the issue.

Onwuemodo said that for posterity sake, all Imo people, "including youths, students, men and women have thrown their unalloyed support behind the youthful Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu for the 2019 Governor ship in the State. He has become the subject-matter as long as that issue is concerned, with APC officials and leaders from 24 out of the 27 Local Governments in the State having already endorsed him for the 2019 Imo guber".

According to Onwuemodo, because political opponents have seen that Uche Nwosu is the man to beat in the election, they have resorted to unwarranted blackmail, saying that is the only way to associate the gentleman to what played out at the burial ceremony. 

He said since the issue of being a son-in-law did not fly, they have changed tactics and "have flooded the social media with one ugly story or the other against the young man, but to Imo people, such elements are wasting their time. They do not know that when God has said yes to any project, nobody can say no".

He recalled that similar smear was put on Governor Okorocha in 2015 in an effort to blackmail Governor Rochas Okorocha out of winning his Second term election "they called him names including Alhaji in Government House and Okoro Hausaand when all that had failed, the thugs hired by the PDP and APGA then came and pulled down the Podium meant for guests for the Political debate for the governorship Candidates also organized by the Owerri Catholic Diocese".  

The Governor's spokesman said "no amount of blackmail or tricks would change the plan of God on the young man to govern the State. It takes someone alive in the things of the Spirit to know that Uche Nwosu is a “Child” of destiny. He has the divine mark. And anyone fighting him is fighting his God. And no one can battle with God", saying he is the man for 2019.

Onwuemodo called for caution from all saying " finally, in whatever we all do, we should be mindful of the Judgement of God. One day, everybody whether Pastor, Journalist, Bishop and so on, will all appear before the Judgement throne of God. That time, blackmailers and social media won’t be there".
Owerri Catholic Archbishop, Most Reverend Anthony Obinna escapes assault from Governor Okorocha's wife, other government officials  Owerri Catholic Archbishop, Most Reverend Anthony Obinna escapes assault from Governor Okorocha's wife, other government officials Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, March 05, 2018 Rating: 5

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