Read the response from the Imo state government. Below is a picture showing the premises in reference.

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In line with the pledge to always toe the line of truth on issues concerning the government in the State which Governor Rochas Okorocha Superintends, it has become important to politely deny the allegation by the LEADER Newspaper owned by the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese in its last Sunday’s edition that the governor had made good his threat by demolishing parts of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Akwakuma Owerri.

First and foremost, the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has never, either in writing or orally, directly or indirectly threatened to demolish any Church or any other property including the Catholic Church at Akwakuma as wrongly claimed by THE LEADER Newspaper.
We also make bold to state that in the large premises of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Akwakuma, there are two outstanding buildings, the Church building under renovation and the School building, and none of the two structures were touched in the expansion work going on, on Akwakuma/Amakaohia road.

It was only part of the store built very close to the main road that was touched by the contractor handling the expansion exercise on the Akwakuma/Amakohia road.

Now that the Leader Newspaper had made its claim and the government or indeed the governor has denied the allegation by the newspaper, it is therefore advisable at this point to plead with Imo people to visit the Church in question to know between the two claimants who said the truth.

The THE LEADER Newspaper had in the report under reference avoided telling their audience that the Church in question used the store building to totally block the government owned Primary School sharing boundary with the Church, and the School has more than one thousand pupils.

The challenge now is for THE LEADER Newspaper to publish the destroyed part of the Church to support their claim because they failed to properly caption the photograph they published with the story to show that it was part of the store building almost at the main road, that was touched.

At this stage, we want to also repeat the appeal we have been making to THE LEADER NEWSPAPER and the Catholic Church in Owerri not to be acting and talking as if they are at war with the State Government..

The government appreciates and recognizes the mega contributions of the Catholic Church to the progress and development of the State especially in the areas of education, human development and spiritual life of our people and would remain loyal to the authorities of the Church and those of other Churches in the State to the glory of God.

The expansion of some of the major roads in Owerri and environs is in the overall benefit of the State and her people which the Church is part and parcel of. We shall continue to appeal for understanding.

Sam Onwuemeodo
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor



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