Governor Rochas Okorocha and his Rescue Mission team were unable to take part in this year’s Anual Owerri Arch Diocesan Odenigbo Lecture held Saturday at the Assumpta Cathedral premises, Owerri, Imo State.
For many years the lecture has lasted, the Governor and his Aides are usually invited as special guests but this year’s turned to something else. Governor Okorocha and his Aides were said to have ignored the invitation and left for Abuja trip.
The truth of the governments absent may not be far from the face-off between the church and governor Rochas Okorocha. Since the Catholic Church began to preach against some of the policies of the governor, the government of the State is said to have engaged the church in a cold war. Okorocha and his Aides no longer appear in at Assumpta Cathedral events to avoid embarrassment or disgrace.
While Governor Rochas Okorocha and his team shunned Odenigbo lecture, other politicians from other political parties stormed the venue of the lecture in style to support Arch Bishop A.J.V Obinna the founder of the lecture.
Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Hon Bar Uche, Mr Frank Nneji, Stanley Amuchie topped the list.
Supporters of the Rescue Mission especially the Nneoma Women group also stayed away from the lecture and travelled to Lagos with Imo First Lady Ugoh Nneoma Nkechi Rochas Okorocha for August Meeting. The absent of governor Okorocha and his team caused a lot of controversy at the event. Many declared that Okorocha is now kicking the ladder that helped him as it is believed by Imo people that Bishop Obinna and the Catholic Church contributed to Okorocha’s governorship success in 2011.
Uche Onyeagocha who spoke to newsmen shortly after the lecture praised Arch Bishop A.J.V Obinna for sustaining Igbo culture adding that people should appreciate and give him full support.
Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Governor of Imo State in his own speech promised to support the growth of Igbo culture especially the language. “If I become governor again I will give back all primary schools to missionaries and make Igbo language is compulsory” Ohakim stated.