The Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has descended heavily on the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, for allegedly issuing N50 million ‘dud’ cheque to Owerri Catholic Archdiocese “even after voting massively for him in the 2011 governorship election.”
He recalled that the catholic community controls about 60 per cent of the voting population in the state which reasonably favoured Okorocha who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to clinch the governorship seat following the widely propagated allegation that the immediate past governor, Ikedi Ohakim, who was also seeking a re-election assaulted one of their priests in the build up to the 2011 elections.
Mbaka, who made this shocking revelation at his Christ the King adoration ground, Enugu, which also has Ohakim and his supporters in attendance, described the rescue mission of the governor as a disappointment to God and humanity, having betrayed the confidence and trust reposed in him by the Imo State electorate.
While regretting what he described as an orchestrated blackmail and hi-tech propaganda that scuttled the re- election bid of Ohakim, the cleric attributed the development to selfishness and insensitivity on the part of his former aides whom he also accused of jeopardising his investigation ahead of the elections by not granting him access to interact and possibly establish the veracity of the damaging allegation that pitched him against the entire catholic community.
“It is regrettable that at last, the truth has manifested though not at the right time. Ohakim didn’t beat any priest. It was an orchestrated falsehood and blackmail which unfortunately were aimed at scuttling his re-election bid.
“When we wanted to reach the governor so as to get his own version, those who worked with him made it impossible. We waited patiently for him but he never showed up. It was then we composed our music ‘Onye ahu kuru father Ihe, ogaghi achi anyi ozo’ meaning the person who beat our priest will not rule us again’, which made Catholics in the state to deny him their votes.
“However, it is good to tell the truth even if it is coming late. Let the truth be told today though not necessarily to prepare him for another governorship project but for the whole world to know that he never did anything like that. Even if Ohakim dies tomorrow, the world will now know that he didn’t beat any priest.
“I am saying this because after listening to Ohakim’s version and that of the priest involved in the controversy and discovered that the allegation was false, it then behooved on me as a servant of God to make my findings public and declare the former governor innocent,” Mbaka exploded.
Speaking further on the Okorocha administration, the clergyman regretted that after benefitting from the falsehood and blackmail that ousted the former governor from office, the rescue mission governor has, to the chagrin of everybody, decided to reward the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri and the people with N50 million dud cheque and bad governance.
“After the blackmail and falsehood that Ohakim assaulted a Catholic priest, the man who benefitted from the whole thing is now dealing with the people as well as destroying the state. Even our Archbishop in Owerri is now crying.
“Could you imagine that our cathedral in Owerri is almost collapsing and what this man (Rochas) could do was to give the church a N50 million bounced cheque? As I am speaking now, Rochas is dealing with the people. In fact, that man is not a blessing to Ndi Imo and I wonder the kingdom where he came from,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation, Okorocha’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, said he would make available the serial numbers of the cheques and what they stood for by today.
He said: “My brother, don’t disturb yourself, I will make the serial numbers of those cheques to you by tomorrow (today). And you will know the type of priest Fr. Mbaka is made of.
“Even Archbishop Obinna (Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province) who received the cheques can testify about it.
“I have received several calls today (yesterday) on the matter but I have declined to speak until I make those cheque numbers available to you tomorrow,” he concluded.