Today's Headlines :  

Jul 19, 2017


Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State has called on priests and Catholic lay faithful of Ahiara Diocese to make Mbaise land a symbol of peace for other people to emulate. The governor gave the admonition during a meeting with representatives of the priests and lay faithful of the diocese, held recently at the Mater Dei Cathedral, Ahiara, Imo State.


According to Governor Okorocha “Peace is very expensive and the bible says to us, pursue peace and not walk towards peace because peace is a very very expensive commodity, but there can be no peace without justice”.He said that his meeting with the priests had been about how to amicably resolve the crisis in the diocese.


Governor Okorocha, who claimed to be also a Catholic faithful, told the priests and lay faithful that “the decision of the Pope was binding on them and regretted that the Priests were in the forefront of the agitation adding, too, that the Church would become an object of mockery if the crisis ends the way the Priests and Laity in the Diocese want it to end’.


Expressing the need for the faithful of the diocese to embrace peace, the state governor remaked: “We’re talking about Ahiara Diocese, IPOB, Boko Haram, Kidnapping, Niger Delta etc. but the one that touches me so much is the crisis of Ahiara Diocese because this touches the fabrics of our faith. First, we’re Christians and you must understand that Christianity is a very difficult religion because Christianity doesn’t preach comfort for us rather, ability to accept persecution. Today, we have a challenge that whatever has made Ahiara a centre of crisis, we must change it for better”.


He continued, “Declaration of Biafran War, Ahiara; killing of a steward, Ahiara and now, Diocesan agitation spanning 6years and attracting global focus also Ahiara. We must change the story of Ahiara. I want to state here categorically that since this crisis, I’ve been listening patiently and watching. But I had wished that my advice was taken ab-initio and ipso-facto.


While expressing concern that priests of the diocese are at the forefront of the agitation, Governor Okorocha added: “If Mbaise must be in the news, it must be in the news for the right reasons. This is because Mbaise is the largest single ethnic group in the South-East and there is no place you will go in this world, without having an Mbaise man, doing well in that region. Mbaise contributes substantially to what makes Imo thick”.


At the end of the meeting, Rev. Fr. Dr. Joseph Ezeji gave the vote of thanks, pledging allegiance to the papacy, to abide by the decisions of the Pope and confirming that all Mbaise Priests have written their letters of apology to the Pope. He stated that what the people are asking for is for any Bishop groomed from their soil to lead them. He said that the canon law seems to have been bent in the case of Ahiara Diocese.

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