For the second time in months, a clash between the aides of Governors Peter Obi of Anambra State and Chief Rochas Okorocha of Imo State over sitting arrangements was averted Sunday by the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, during the dedication of Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Catholic Church built by Chairman of Zinox Computers, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, in Amauburu IIsi-Ubomiri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area in Imo State.
Obi had arrived the church earlier for the church dedication scheduled for 10 o'clock, but as he made his way to the front seat row reserved for dignitaries, he was told by one of the aides of Okorocha that the seats were reserved for the Imo State Governor and his entourage who were yet to arrive for the function.
THISDAY gathered that the apparent refusal of the aides of the Imo State governor to allow Obi and his entourage to seat in the front row infuriated the aides of the Anambra State governor, who engaged Okorocha's aides in a heated argument.
But for the intervention of the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Archbishop Obinna, who told the aides of Okorocha pointblank that seats are not reserved for late comers in the House of God, adding that those in authority should respect God because His is the ultimate power.
However, during his homily, Obinna admonished political office holders to imbibe the spirit of service to the people and not the other way round, noting that in spite of the abundant resources that the country is blessed with majority of the people are living in abject poverty because those in the leadership positions do not have the spirit of Christ in them.
He said "those in authority should remember that in whatever position they occupy should be used to serve the people, in spite of the abundance that God has blessed the country with, majority of the people are still living in grinding poverty," adding today we kill for political power, for money and for pleasure and that is why there is no peace in the land, because very few people have diverted the entire resources of the country.
The cleric said recently the protocol officer of the Imo State governor was murdered, stating "this is because those in leadership positions do not have Christ in them."
Obinna commended Ekeh for single-handedly building the church and advised other leaders to emulate such gesture to uplift the well-being of their people, adding that the action of Ekeh could be likened to the biblical Nehemiah who had returned to Jerusalem during the Jewish exile to rebuild the temple and urged others to emulate what he has done.
The ceremony which also climaxed with the traditional wedding ceremony of Chief Leo Stan Eke's daughter with a popular Yoruba family had in attendance dignitaries including the wife of Imo State Governor, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; Senators Chris Anyanwu and Ifeanyi Araraume, former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who was the chairman of the occasion; Ambassadors Greg Mbadiwe and Dr. Kema Chikwe, among others.
It would be recalled that was the second time that the two governors are having a brush over sitting arrangement.
Last year, Okorocha was reported to have allegedly fought over sitting arrangement in Enugu during the South-east zonal Constitutional Review meeting.
-------Amby Uneze, This Day, Monday, January 28, 2013