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Uke Adoration Tragedy: Onitsha Catholic Diocese Absolves Obi, Obiano

By James Eze
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The Catholic Archbishop of the Onitsha Archdiocese and the Metropolitan See, Most Rev Valerian Maduka Okeke has absolved the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and APGA's standard bearer for the coming gubernatorial election in the state, Chief Willie Obiano of all blames arising from the stampede that claimed 25 lives at the Adoration Ground of St. Dominic Catholic Church Uke at the weekend.

Speaking during a pastoral visit to St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nnokwa Parish at the weekend, Arch-Bishop Okeke dismissed the growing rumour that Governor Obi and Chief Obiano's presence at the prayer night held to mark the celebration of the All Saints Day may have led to the stampede, pointing out that there was nothing political about Obi's presence at the celebration in Uke on the fateful night.

The Arch Bishop who laid the blame squarely on some desperate politicians in the state looking for another backdoor route to power also pinned the cause of the stampede to a false fire alarm raised by some mischief makers at the Adoration Ground.

Although he refused to name anyone in particular as being culpable for the stampede, the leader of the Catholic Church in Onitsha and its environs with overseeing powers over St. Dominic Catholic Church Uke where the tragedy happened wondered why politicians should not leave the church out of their intense rivalry. “The Church has always been very strict on the separation of issues concerning the liturgy and circular things" he observed

Arch-Bishop Okeke also revealed that the report he got on the tragic incident showed that Obi and his entourage left the venue at about 3.00am while the false fire alarm that led to the stampede and death of the innocent took place at about 5.30- 6.00am.

“If the person or persons that raised that alarm did it for dubious political reasons, may God judge them, but if otherwise, only God knows the truth,” the Arch-Bishop further observed praying God to grant the souls of the departed victims of the tragedy a peaceful repose.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh has called for the immediate arrest of the APC candidate in the coming gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige for masterminding the stampede that led to the death of 25 worshippers at the Ebube Muonso Adoration Ministry, Uke, Idemili Local Government Area, Anambra State.