Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State on Wednesday declared that he has nothing against the Catholic Church.
Okorocha said contrary to claims by the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, he had done nothing to pitch the Catholic Church against the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Okechukwu had accused the governor of pitching the Catholic Church against the APC while referring to the governor’s statement that the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, Anthony Obinna cannot install a governor on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2019.
In a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor insisted that he had shown amazing love and respect to Obinna and “has no problem of any kind with the Catholic Church.”
The statement also claimed that Okorocha donated the sum of N100 million for the completion of the Okigwe Catholic Diocese Cathedral.
The statement reads, “The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, had accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of pitting the Catholic Church against APC without explaining how he arrived at such claim.
“Mr. Okechukwu is one of those who have the erroneous feeling that the only way they can grow in APC is by attacking or pulling down Governor Rochas Okorocha and he has been doing it religiously without any response from us.
“Governor Okorocha has shown amazing love and unbridled respect to Archbishop Obinna and has no problem of any kind with the Catholic Church. And what Governor Okorocha has done for the Catholic Diocese of Owerri, no past governor whether civilian or military had done it for them. Let anybody say it is not true. And if Mr. Okechukwu had participated or followed events in the 2015 election he would have understood better.
“Don’t forget that President Muhammadu Buhari got only 14,157 votes in Enugu State where the DG comes from, and got 133,253 in Imo not minding that Imo was the target of the PDP-led Federal Government’s onslaught in the 2015 election with thousands of soldiers and other security agencies besieging the state.
“If the governor didn’t mean well, he would not have taken President Buhari to the Archbishop. But two days after that visit, the Leader Newspaper owned by the Archbishop had a banner headline, Alhaji in Government House. The name Okoro-Hausa also came from the same source.
“And if the campaign of the PDP and a section of the Church that Buhari and Rochas would Islamize the South-East if APC wins didn’t get to Enugu State it means the presence of the party in the state was never considered a threat. But in Imo, that was the major campaign. Mr. Okechukwu won’t understand because he was contended with his much talked about relationship with the President.”