…We need Real Development – Archbishop Obinna

Most Rev. Anthony Obinna

Most Rev. Anthony Obinna

In what looked like a bomb shell, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has expressed his disappointment at the Imo State Government, saying what is going on in the state is impressionistic development to attract attention and, not real development.

Speaking at the ordination of 11 priests at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, August 9, 2014, Archbishop Obinna said that “roundabout is not development” and advised the government to move into the semi-urban and rural areas that are totally neglected.

Drawing from his experience during pastoral visits to rural parishes in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Obinna regretted that our rural communities have been neglected by various administrations as they lack basic amenities like roads, water and electricity.

Recalling his experience during a recent Pastoral trip to America and Europe, the Owerri Local Ordinary said these amenities were taken for granted in every community – rural or urban in these countries.

“But here, in Imo and Nigeria, we beg government to provide road, beg government to provide water, beg government to provide basic things for which they were elected.  This is beggarly democracy”, he said, adding “we need governors who will be servants to the people; who will carry everybody along.”

Archbishop Obinna also cautioned against the use of public money to finance political parties, saying the money belongs to Ohanaeze (the entire people) and not to a political party or section of the people.

He reiterated his appeal to the Imo State Government to support mission schools and hospitals, as is being done in Anambra State, and condemned a situation where government “gives free education to some and ignores others”.

“There is discrimination for now”, he said, adding, “we all need to move forward together”.

On the 2015 elections, Archbishop Obinna said he would not be part of a public forum for governorship aspirants in the state as was done in 2011.  He however announced that such programme could be organized by the Justice Development and Peace Commission/Caritas (JDPC) of the Archdiocese.

He called on the lay people to speak out courageously against bad governance.  “Our lay people look like political toddlers, sycophants, afraid of the governor”, he observed.

He reminded those in authority – government and church – that “We are ordinary people; the difference is that we have been given position to serve.  So, let us forget this artificial importance and artificial security because the real security comes from God.”

Archbishop Obinna reaffirmed his readiness to continue to speak out courageously against bad governance and unjust policies. He said this approach dates back to the military era in the state, stressing that he would not give up.  “I will not be intimidated.  My confidence is in God who appointed me and I want you to draw from this confidence”, he told everyone.

Observers say the optimism that heralded the beginning of the Okorocha’s government has so quickly evaporated. Free education which the government says they are passionate about is so lopsided. The schools handed over to the missions have been abandoned in the free education policy

Archbishop Obinna noted that those who work with the governor at various levels are “yes members”, who are afraid to tell the governor the truth.

In what looked like a bomb shell, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has expressed his disappointment at the Imo State Government, saying what is going on in the state is impressionistic development to attract attention and, not real development.

Speaking at the ordination of 11 priests at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, August 9, 2014, Archbishop Obinna said that “roundabout is not development” and advised the government to move into the semi-urban and rural areas that are totally neglected.

Drawing from his experience during pastoral visits to rural parishes in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Obinna regretted that our rural communities have been neglected by various administrations as they lack basic amenities like roads, water and electricity.

Recalling his experience during a recent Pastoral trip to America and Europe, the Owerri Local Ordinary said these amenities were taken for granted in every community – rural or urban in these countries.

“But here, in Imo and Nigeria, we beg government to provide road, beg government to provide water, beg government to provide basic things for which they were elected.  This is beggarly democracy”, he said, adding “we need governors who will be servants to the people; who will carry everybody along.”

Archbishop Obinna also cautioned against the use of public money to finance political parties, saying the money belongs to Ohanaeze (the entire people) and not to a political party or section of the people.

He reiterated his appeal to the Imo State Government to support mission schools and hospitals, as is being done in Anambra State, and condemned a situation where government “gives free education to some and ignores others”.

“There is discrimination for now”, he said, adding, “we all need to move forward together”.

On the 2015 elections, Archbishop Obinna said he would not be part of a public forum for governorship aspirants in the state as was done in 2011.  He however announced that such programme could be organized by the Justice Development and Peace Commission/Caritas (JDPC) of the Archdiocese.

He called on the lay people to speak out courageously against bad governance.  “Our lay people look like political toddlers, sycophants, afraid of the governor”, he observed.

He reminded those in authority – government and church – that “We are ordinary people; the difference is that we have been given position to serve.  So, let us forget this artificial importance and artificial security because the real security comes from God.”

Archbishop Obinna reaffirmed his readiness to continue to speak out courageously against bad governance and unjust policies. He said this approach dates back to the military era in the state, stressing that he would not give up.  “I will not be intimidated.  My confidence is in God who appointed me and I want you to draw from this confidence”, he told everyone.

Observers say the optimism that heralded the beginning of the Okorocha’s government has so quickly evaporated. Free education which the government says they are passionate about is so lopsided. The schools handed over to the missions have been abandoned in the free education policy

Archbishop Obinna noted that those who work with the governor at various levels are “yes members”, who are afraid to tell the governor the truth.