By Peter Okutu
The Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki diocese, Bishop Nnachi Okoro, weekend waded into the clash of political interest that had ensued between Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim among others.
Recall that Umahi, Senator Anyim, Senator Sam Egwu, former Governor of the state and all the serving senators/members of the House of Representatives currently in the National Assembly have not been having good political relationship, since Umahi’s defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
This development had created a sharp political division, alignment and realignment, and reemergence political camps among stakeholders in the State.
It has also placed the State on a speed lane as to who will be the next Governor of the State in 2023, thereby serving as a slight distraction to the Governor’s speedy implementation of programmes and policies in the State.
The Bishop, in collaboration with the founding fathers of the state, engaged Governor Umahi, Sen. Anyim, Dr. Egwu and other political actors in a closed-door meeting that took place at the Bishop’s house, Pastoral centre Abakaliki, located along old Enugu Road.
An inside source, stated that the Bishop tasked Umahi, Anyim, Egwu to give peace a chance and put away their differences for the sake of peace in the State.
The Governor had some weeks ago apologized to his political opponents and charged them to stop attacking his opponents and leaders of the State.
According to him, “I offer apologies to them. I am not going to sit on the judgment with anybody. This apology and forgiveness should be enough to settle all bad blood. And I have no regret for that. God directed me to do this. And I thank all our leaders who have intervened,” he had said.
He equally instructed all government functionaries and supporters not to reply to attacks meted against his administration.
He said: “let me publicly say it here, that I have directed that nobody should abuse anybody again, even if I’m abused, it goes with the job. Do not respond back to them but you should always put any distorted information against us straight.
“I am the father of the state. And I should be ashamed of myself if the state of Ebonyi is allowed to go into bitterness and into disunity.”
During the meeting, Umahi commended the Bishop and the founding fathers of the state for their prompt intervention geared towards resolving the feud.
“I thank the Catholic Bishop Nnachi Okoro, I thank CAN people led by the chairman Rev. Dr Abraham Nwali. I thank the founding fathers, I thank the Ohanaeze leadership led by Chief Nnia Nwodo and all the leaders of the South-East,” he added.
Key resolutions reached during the meeting is yet to be made public.