Imo State Gov, Rochas Okorocha: his state is always in the news for the wrong reasons
If there's one thing remarkable about Imo State in this democratic dispensation, it is the tales of the absurd coming out from it. Indeed, all manner of hard-to-believe stories are being churned out from that state virtually on a regular basis; so much so that it is becoming difficult to keep count. Thus from the statue moulding saga to the spurious appointment of a commissioner to take charge of happiness in an unhappy state, to the governor's avowal to have his son-in-law succeed him as governor, the latest is the molestation of a Catholic bishop in front of the Number One citizen of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, a development that has clearly shown that something is seriously wrong somewhere in that state.
According to the latest story, Bishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri Catholic Diocese, was nearly manhandled at the altar of God after saying his mind about the misnomer called governance in Imo State under Rochas Okorocha.
As is the case in this part of the world, leaders only like to be hailed, even when they are not doing well. Although they will always call for constructive criticism, any attempt to do is resisted, often violently. That was what played out in Imo State, at Mgwoma Obube, Owerri Nest Council Area, during the burial mass of a prominent citizen.
Reports had it that the bishop had during his homily, veered into the governance of the state and condemned the policies of the Okorocha-led government. In the course of this, murmurs began to grow in the church as many people, made up of supporters of different political parties, reacted in different ways to the bishop's sermon. Soon, supporters of the Imo State Government mounted the altar and attempted to snatch the microphone from the bishop, while raining invective at him. The bishop was promptly shielded by other priests amid the growing pandemonium.
The state government had come out with a press statement the next day, claiming that the story was part of efforts to blackmail the government, especially the chief of staff, Uche Nwosu, purported to have been pencilled down by Okorocha as his successor. Nwosu is the son-in-law of the governor.
The statement which said the allegation was aimed at scuttling the guber ambitions of the chief of staff, also said the state government would only talk only after the bishop had spoken.
Well, the latest news from Imo is just one among many others that have portrayed the state government in bad light. If others were strange, the latest is simply unbelievable. That a chief security officer of a state will be around and watch an important citizen of his state ,exposed to such danger, just because such a chief executive does not like what has been said about his government is indeed saddening.
But even as we condemn the situation in Imo State, we hasten to commend Bishop Obinna for his courage in speaking against anomalies in his state. It is the hallmark of a true man of God who means well for his state. It is such people that are needed in every state so, that they will be telling leaders the truth.
And from what we have been seeing in Imo State, there is no doubt that the state needs more of the likes of Bishop Obinna, so that the seeming spiritual bondage which the people of the state have found themselves in, can be exorcicsed.