Ahiara Mbaise Catholic dissidents must obey Pope — Okorocha

Posted by Emma Njoku | 3 July 2017 | 1,873 times

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•Governor Okorocha.

Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has urged the Priests and Laity in the Ahiara Catholic Diocese, Mbaise to obey the directive of the Pope by accepting Bishop Peter Okpaleke as the Bishop of the Diocese.

The governor who met with the priests and laity at the headquarters of the Diocese at the weekend told them that the decision of the Pope was binding on them. He regretted that the priests were in the forefront of the agitation and said the Church would become an object of mockery if the crisis ends according to the wish of the priests and laity in the Diocese.

He said: “I’m here in Ahiara Mbaise Diocese to bring peace. I’ve met with the priests of this Diocese for over one hour. Peace is very expensive and the bible admonishes us to pursue peace and not walk towards peace because peace is a very expensive commodity. But, there can be no peace without justice.”

Okorocha said he was in Ahiara Diocese not only as the governor of the state, but as a catholic. He regretted that the crisis in the Diocese was happening at the same time when the country is facing various agitations.

“I’ve listened to their grievances and I’m aware of all the historical backgrounds following this agitation. But, the moment we are now is a very bad moment. There are so many agitations, so many crises here and there, and it looks like Satan has relocated his headquarters to Nigeria. But, by the grace of God, we shall fight and destroy these satanic forces.”

The governor regretted that Ahiara has a history of crises and war, and urged the people to reject the negative identity.

“Today, we have a challenge that whatever has made Ahiara a centre of crisis, we must change it for better. Declaration of Biafran War, Ahiara; killing of a steward, Ahiara, and now, Diocesan agitation spanning  six years and attracting global focus, also Ahiara. We must change the story of Ahiara. 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.”

Rev. Fr. Dr. Joseph Ezeji gave the vote of thanks and pledged allegiance to the papacy. He assured that the Diocese will abide by the decisions of the Pope and confirmed that all Mbaise priests have written their letters of apology to the Pope. (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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