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July 16, 2018

The lies against Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri by Engr. Obinna Nshirim

Engr Obinna Nshirim
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We understand that there are public officers who must become praise singers and sycophants of Governor Rochas Okorochas Government to keep their jobs. Engr. Obinna Nshirim is one of them. We are not really worried about his sycophancy; if that is the only trade he needs to feed his family. Our concern is telling lies and rubbishing the image of the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri and the Archdiocese just to retain his job.

Engr Nshirim, Adviser to Governor Rochas on Public Affairs and Enlightenment was a guest at Hot. 99.5 FM Radio Owerri on Wednesday March 14, 2018 during which he took a chunk of the sponsored programme to castigate the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri and the Archbishop Most Rev. Anthony Obinna. Not satisfied with the mudslinging, Nshirim returned to the same radio station on Wednesday, March 29, to continue his verbal bullying all calculated to harm the self-concept of Catholic priests.

In the earlier programme, Engr. Nshirim said the Catholic Church has been consistent in her attack against APC and Governor Okorocha, and heaped every allegation against the governor at the door of the Catholic Church. To him, every allegation or rumour against APC is from the Catholic Church and its organs, thus creating unnecessary enmity between the church and government.

Nshirim who was a former Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities before he was demoted to the rank of mere Adviser, said Governor Okorocha donated N50 million to Owerri Archdiocese and a priest from another diocese made an issue of it, claiming that the cheque bounced. He said “there was no response from the Archdiocese to show that the cheque did not bounce.” We don’t know why Nshirim and his co-travellers are bent on tarnishing the image of the Archdiocese. We have made every effort to correct this wrong impression which he peddles any time he has the opportunity. Yet, Nshirim has continued to spread it.

When Nshirim, visited The Leader newspaper during his tour of media houses in 2017, as Commissioner for Information, we showed him a copy of The Leader of Sunday August 10, 2014 (front page) with the headline, “Fr. Mbaka Vs Rochas: Owerri Archdiocese clears the air, says no dud cheque.”

In the publication, “The Leader confirmed that the cheque donated to the Archdiocese for the rehabilitation of Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri did not bounce as alleged by Fr. Mbaka.”

The Vicar-General, Fr. Patrick Ibole and the Director of Communications, Fr. George Nwachukwu in their seperate reactions confirmed that the cheque did not bounce as Fr. Mbaka claimed.

We also told Nshirim that other papers published the stand of the church on the issue including the Trumpeta newspaper of 11th August 2014, with the headline – “… Owerri Archdiocese denies Fr. Mbaka on dud cheque allegation.” Yet, Nshirim will not leave the church alone on this matter.

Another propaganda which Nshirim has been spreading to rubbish the Archdiocese of Owerri and which he re-enforced during the Hot FM show is that of the statue of Holy Family erected at the Control Post. He lied to the world that the Archbishop did not write the governor to express appreciation for the project. This is another big lie!
The Leader newspaper of Sunday Nov. 13, 2016 published the picture of the Holy Family in front page with a screaming headline: “Holy Family Statue: Archbishop Obinna commends Imo Government.”

According to The Leader, “Archbishop Obinna thanked Governor Okorocha for creating the sculpture and prayed that Imo State would experience the love, peace and unity which the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph represents. The Archbishop hoped that the spirit of the Holy Family would unite Imo people in such a way that they would no longer see themselves according to their political zones and other affiliations but one big family of God.”
On the incident at a Catholic Church in Ngwoma Obube, early last month, Engr Nshirim accused Archbishop Obinna of turning the pulpit into a political soapbox, saying it is a taboo to invite laymen to say something during homily. Well, it’s sad that Engr. Nshirim, “a Catholic” does not know the difference between homily and post communion announcement. Archbishop did not preach the homily at the funeral Mass as Nshirim alleged. A priest did. The drama took place during the announcement when the Archbishop called on the congregation to ensure they obtained their PVC in readiness for 2019 election. But desperate to ridicule the Archbishop, Nshirim said His Grace turned his homily into political campaign. Everybody knew those who insulted the Archbishop at the funeral Mass just as Imolites knew those who disrupted the 2015 political debate and desecrated the podium.

Nshirim also claimed that The Leader newspaper erred by criticising Imo Government for erecting a statue for Zuma and then praising the same Zuma for stepping down when asked to do so. He did not tell his listeners that Zuma stepped down following his corruption scandal and attendant vote of no confidence.

Contrary to Nshirim’s allegation, there is no contradiction in The Leader editorial regarding former President Zuma. The majority of Imolites and as well as Nigerians disagreed with Governor Okorocha, who in the midst of an ongoing corruption scandal in South Africa against Zuma invited him to Imo State and, in the midst of the poverty of Imolites, hosted him as though he was a Nelson Mandela.

Governor Okorocha used the people’s money to build a statue for a man battling humongous corruption charges at home and named a public road after him. What Governor Okorocha did was to hoist Zuma up as a man of integrity whom Imolites should emulate.

Although Zuma was still president at the time he was Governor Okorocha’s guest, he was facing serious allegations and, knowing that South Africa is not Nigeria and that the ANC is not APC or PDP, the writing for his impeachment was clearly on the wall. It was, therefore, no surprise when Zuma was booted out of power by a people-oriented and accountable party.

The Leader wrote an editorial asking Nigerian politicians to learn from South Africa. We praised the ANC for standing by the party’s constitution and not allowing one man’s interest, Zuma’s, to jeopardize its chances of remaining the choice party in South Africa and winning the next election.

Yes, The Leader also commended Zuma for obeying his party and stepping down, something that a Nigerian politician would have found impossible to do. This is not a contradiction, as claimed by Engr Nshirim. The Leader still strongly disapproves of Governor Rochas Okorocha erecting a statue for Zuma or any other, particularly one facing corruption charges at home.

Even if Zuma was cleared of those serious corruption charges, no sensible Government would have honoured a person while those charges were pending.

Only a praise singer like Nshirim would claim that Governor Okorocha did well to honour a cheat, a deceiver and former President who can no longer walk the streets of his home country with his head held high.
We are not questioning whether Nshirim is truly a Catholic as he usually claims. We are only asking him to stop spreading falsehood and propaganda against the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri.



One Response to “The lies against Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri by Engr. Obinna Nshirim”
  1. Chidi says:

    Nshirim is a wolf in a sheep clothing

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