Release Our Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Timothy In Custody- Parishioners Of Saint Bernard’s Catholic Parish Urges Gov’ Umahi
Parishioners of Saint Bernard’s Catholic Parish Ugueze Effium, Ohaukwu local government area, Ebonyi state have appealed to Governor Dave Umahi to release their parish priest Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta who has been in prison custody on the allegation of promoting the protracted Ezza/Effium crisis in the local government which has led to loss of many lives with properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
In a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Laity Council in the parish, Ezinna Christian Ezakaoru and Elder David Nweke-Eze respectively after their meeting in the parish on Sunday, the parishioners appealed to the Governor to consider the sanctity of Priesthood and release their priest unconditionally to the church which according to them, morality investigations and discipline supersedes that of security agencies.
The Council appreciated the Governor for his relentless efforts in ensuring that peace return in the war ridden community.
They also extended their gratitude to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe and security agencies deployed to the area for their efforts and sacrifices ever since the war broke out among the two brothers.
The Council also expressed their gratitude to the governor for his approval for the release of Hon. Chinedu Awoh, a member of the state House of Assembly and Hon. Clement Odaa the Chairman of Ohaukwu local government both of Effium community and appealed to him to extend such a heart of gold to the young priest.
They however expressed their dissatisfaction over alleged brutality and torture mated on the Priest by some heartless security agencies without thorough investigation and fair hearing, an act which inflicted severe injury on him.
The parishioners commended Umahi for the approving immediate payment of salaries of civil servants from Effium, which they described as worthwhile and that it would go a long way in relieving the sufferings of the affected families from the area.
The parishioners thanked the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Rev. Dr. Peter Chukwu for his mature disposition in handling the matter which led to the cancellation of the protest earlier scheduled by the Catholic faithful in the State over the continued detention of Ngwuta.
They assured of their readiness to embrace peace and pleaded with the Governor to consider the unconditional release of the priest as part of the peace processes, noting that his continuous detention in prison will not be telling good of the present administration in the state who had been adjudged to have performed credibly especially in Catholic dominated state of Ebonyi.