Government of Imo State yesterday bowed to the superior force of the Catholic Church and the people of Imo State by restoring Assumpta Avenue street name that was initially renamed Muhammadu Buhari Road.
The government action came barely a few hours after social media went viral with news of growing tension in Owerri, Imo State capital occasioned by the public dissatisfaction of Governor Rochas Okorocha misadministration and impunity exhibited through “the unwholesome renaming of Assumpta Avenue.”
The Commissioner for Information, Professor Nnamdi Obiaraeri, yesterday, said that it was never government’s intention to rename the said strategic road, which he claimed spans from Assumpta Cathedral and terminates at Warehouse Roundabout.
“Assumpta Avenue is symbolic for both religious and historic reasons in Imo State, and these facts are not lost on the government and people of Imo State. All inconveniences occasioned by the initial oversight or error of wrongly installing a Street sign, suggesting a renaming of the street is highly regretted”, Obiaraeri said.
In his own reaction, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, said that there was no need to celebrate the restoration of the street name by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
“Catholics were already putting heads together to face the unwarranted and most uncharitable frontal attack on the Church, when he retraced his locus. His misdeed had already reached the ends of the earth before he did the needful”, Archbishop Obinna said.
Answering questions, the cleric wondered why Okorocha wants to destroy everything that predated his administration, including Assumpta Avenue.
Reacting also, a Catholic Knight, Sir McDonald Ebere said: “Rochas Okorocha has finally bowed to the power of Catholics. This is the beginning of the end and there shall be no end until the beginning ends”.
Meanwhile, Catholic laity have declared three days of fasting and prayers in Imo State.
According to an online directive, Catholics and their well-wishers were asked to do this “for God to manifest His power in Imo State, and deliver His children from the evil leadership of Governor Rochas Okorocha”.
Catholics were asked to begin the fasting and prayer from December 29-31, starting from 6am-12noon, while recitation of the Rosary starts 12noon.
“Strict adherence to this call will go a long way to salvage Imo State. Our Lady will surely crush the ugly serpent that is raising its head in Imo State now. Catholics stand up to your faith and win this spiritual battle. God is with us. We shall live to see the end of this evil. The heavenly beings are greater than all the principalities here on earth. We will surely overcome”, the directive added.