Imo State government has said there is no rift between the Catholic Church, the bishops and Governor Hope Uzodimma.
In a release made available to LEADERSHIP, which was signed by the commissioner for information and strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, the government stated that Uzodimma as a Christian of the Catholic faith, holds the church and its leadership in high esteem and would not undermine their authority.
Emelumba’s reaction came after reports emerged that a rift exists between the governor, bishops and the Catholic Church in the state.
He said, “Irrespective of the fact that the church authorities in Owerri Archdiocese did not allow the governor to use the executive seal to address the clergy and congregation during the installation of the new Archbishop, Dr. Lucius Ugorji, last Thursday, Governor Uzodimma, did not see this as a slight, either on his office or authority.
“To demonstrate that His Excellency was not in any way bothered by that incident, he went ahead to host the Apostolic Nuncio and other bishops and attended the ceremony at a state dinner that same evening.
“So, there is no animosity to warrant the speculations of the rift by the populace.”
What the appointee expressed was her opinion and she has retracted same to show that the government has no hand in it. Any other appointees expressing an opinion on the issue is doing so in a personal capacity.
“The governor has a deep respect for the church and the religious leaders and he would always accord them their due respect,” the commissioner said.