The Imo State Government has refuted a report published on some social media platforms alleging that Governor Hope Uzodimma, was in conflict with the Catholic Church and bishops.
This was contained in a statement issued, at the weekend, by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba.
The statement stressed that the governor was a committed Catholic, “who holds the church and its leadership in very high esteem,” assuring that he would not undermine their authorities.
“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 Iwejuru Ugorji, last Thursday, Governor Uzodimma, did not see it as a slight, either on his office or authority.
The statement reads: “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 that attended the ceremony to a state dinner that same evening.
“So, there is no animosity to warrant the speculations of the rift by the social media.”
According to the statement, the opinion expressed by one of the aides of the governor was personal, which has been retracted.
The statement continued: “What the appointee expressed was her opinion and she has retracted same to show that government has no hand in it. Any other appointee 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 Guardian learnt that the Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to the Governor on Network, Adanna Chantel Chinyere, had expressed her opinion on the refusal of the church authorities to allow Governor Uzodimma to use the Lectern in the alter at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri.
Later, some social media platforms carried it and it went viral.
She later retracted it, clarifying that it was her opinion.