The consecration of a Catholic priest as Bishop of the Diocese of Ahiara in Mbaise, took a dangerous dimension during the weekend as angry youths resisted and took a drastic decision.
Some angry youths have reported sacked Monsignor Cletus Ogu, the Parish Priest of St. Peter’s Catholic Parish, Amano Obioha, as the impasse engineered by the consecration of Rt. Rev. Peter Okpalaeke as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, Mbaise, took a dangerous dimension over the past weekend
According to a report by Vanguard, the priest, Monsignor Ogu, a pro-Okpalaeke loyalist, was said to be preparing to celebrate his golden jubilee anniversary as a Catholic cleric in the church, when some youths locked up the rectory.
Speaking to a correspondent on Tuesday on the issue, an indigene of the area, confirmed that “the ageing priest was busy with his sacerdotal assignment in the church, not knowing that some youths had locked the entrance into the parish house”.
However, another version of the story had it that “hell was let loose when Monsignor Ogu attempted to gain entrance into the church for Sunday Mass, but was barred by angry youths.
On what led to the near ugly incident, some respondents accused Monsignor Ogu of being responsible for the transfer of his curate, who they claimed, “is loved by parishioners”.
While confirming the incident in a telephone chat, a priest, Rev. Dr. Jude Uwalaka, expressed regret that “Monsignor Ogu, who is constantly on drugs, was not even allowed to take his medicines and personal effects”.
When a news reporter visited the parish Tuesday, some armed policemen were seen guarding the church, although they bluntly refused to speak on their mission.
“We are not permitted to talk to the press please. You can approach the PPRO for everything you want to know about our presence in this church”, one of them said and moved away.
When contacted on his mobile line, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a deputy superintendent of police, confirmed the story.
“Our men are in the church compound to ensure that peace reigns supreme in the area. We have no hand in the running of the Catholic Church. We are only aware that a priest was transferred to another parish and the people started protesting”, Enwerem said.
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