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Why I Rejected Rochas’ Appointment – Archbishop Obinna

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AJV Obinna (2)The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has explained why he rejected his appointment as chairman of the Committee to disburse N500m ISOPADEC empowerment fund for youths of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Government Areas of Imo State.

Governor Rochas Okorocha had appointed Archbishop Obinna and Bishop Cyril Okorocha, Anglican Bishop of Owerri, to supervise the disbursement of N250 million in each of the two local government areas.

Speaking during his Pastoral Visit to Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, last Sunday, Archbishop Obinna explained that he rejected the offer, first because, his mentor and predecessor, Bishop Mark Unegbu had warned him to keep off Government appointments.

The local ordinary said he is not a local government agent and therefore not in any position to distribute money meant for the youths of the areas.

The outspoken Archbishop recalled that when he got wind of the planned appointment, he quickly informed government not to go ahead with the offer because he was not interested.

He regretted that despite the warning, the government still went ahead to announce his name as the chairman of the Committee.

He Said: ”I told them before I traveled overseas that I cannot be an agent in a local government. If you want to give me money for Catholic youths, I can accept that, but if it is to handle money for Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta, count me out.” Reacting to rumours that the money had been paid to him, the prelate said: “I want to state clearly that I did not touch the N250m, that I did not accept the offer; that it is not my duty to distribute money for Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta youths.”

Archbishop Obinna, who said he was still watching the situation in Imo State, noted that, “under normal situation, government has a duty to give subvention to the Church (and not just pocket money) to support mission work-schools, hospitals and some other projects. The money is public money, not governor’s money, and the church is also part of the state because the work we do-spiritual and moral –helps the state.”

The Archbishop said he has been very careful in his relationship with the government and advised all to be careful too as 2015 approaches, adding jokingly that he will go on “exile” during the 2015 elections.

The prelate also cautioned against politicization of prayers in the state and reminded government that prayers like Angelus is not Government business.

He reminded Catholics in politics, especially those who work against the Church, that they are expected to do the will of God and not the will of President, Governor or Commissioner.

Meanwhile, “concerned youths” of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta LGAs have voiced their displeasure over the N500m Empowerment Programme, saying the amount was a Greek gift that does not reflect the wishes and aspirations of the youths.

The leader of the Youths, Comrade Nyerike O. Thomas, told journalists in Owerri that Okorocha is playing politics with the N500m Empowerment Programme, describing it as “a political exercise made, not only to deceive our people but also hoodwink the youths into forgetting our agitations for better funding of ISOPADEC and provision of basic amenities.

“Let him use the money to pay PHCN to provide Electric Power to our people. Let him give our people the N400m FG flood money…,” they appealed.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. IGBOKWE SIXTUS CHETACHI

    August 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I am very much delighted in the way the Church operates. I thank my Archbishop for being outstanding and outspoken. I know him as a man who call a spade a spade.

  2. IGBOKWE SIXTUS CHETACHI

    August 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    The Church is wise. I am very much delighted in the way the Church operates. I thank my Archbishop for being outstanding and outspoken. I know him as a man who call a spade a spade, yes a man of his words.
    It is high time Nigerians should learn our lessons, and that is the more reason why we should watch our steps while walking with the government. For indeed whoever that is eating with the devil should make use of a long spoon.
    Archbishop Obinna is a man of excellent reputation, and if he should involve himself in this, his enemies will use that oppourtunity to drag his name on the mud, of which will have a great effect on the flock handed to him to shepherd.
    The government wants to bring in politics in the church, because for instance the Archbishop of the Anglicans may decide to divide the money in a way to favour his fellow Anglicans likewise the other. This may bring in certain concepts that are non sequitor. An igbo adage says “Onye a na-enyo enyo adighi nma igbawa oto”.

  3. ONWUMERE Okechukwu Charles

    August 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Thank God the Archbishop rejected it. It was a ploy to destroy his personality. Governor Okorocha is becoming uncomfortable with the outspokenness of Archbishop Obinna and seek yo destroy his credibility , similar to what IBB did to Tai Solarin by giving him an appointment that finally tarnished his image.

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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