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Catholic priest summoned before Ogwugwu Okija shrine

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House at the shrine

…vows never to go there

David-Chyddy Eleke, Awka | The Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Rev. Fr. Wence Madu, has been summoned before a local deity, Ogwugwu Okija, in Anambra State.

It was learnt that Madu’s summons was sequel to a report made against him by an aggrieved staff member of polytechnic.

 A copy of the summons released to journalists in Owerri on Wednesday was signed by one Ukaegbu Obasi.

“There is a report of injustice, collaboration, and conspiracy made against you by an innocent and outraged staff. Be also informed that you must come to the Ogwugwu with clean hands.

“The Ogwugwu kills, but only those whose hands are not clean, especially those who committed evil against their fellow human beings at work, churches, mosques, markets, and other places,” the summons read.

It was learnt that Madu had ignored an earlier summons, prompting the deity worshippers to send a reminder to him.

The rector in a statement vowed never to appear before the shrine as an ordained priest of the Catholic Church.

“I have done no wrong and would not appear before any god or shrine. Anyone who has issues with me should come to me or use the appropriate channel recognised by the polytechnic to address his or her grievance.

“I am a priest of the highest deity. It is absurd for me to honour an invitation from a lower deity.”

Madu attributed the issue raised against him to recent reforms in the school.

He said that the reforms were not targeted at individuals, but to uplift the standard of education in the polytechnic.

A senior police officer in Owerri said on condition of anonymity that many cases of people resorting to deity for settlement of cases were currently being handled by the Imo State Police Command.

“The police headquarters in Imo has a lot of cases of people resorting to deity for settlement of disputes, and taking somebody to a shrine is a punishable criminal offence,’’ he said.

A resident of Owerri, Mr Paul Okoro, called on the state government and the traditional rulers in the state to step up action against such negative trend where people resorted to consulting deities.

“The government and Imo traditional rulers should look into this evil practice because of the obvious negative image it portends to the state.

“To say that a government worker should drag a clergy man and head of a tertiary institution to a deity is enough dent on the corporate image of the state and the government should not be aloof in such matter,” Okoro said.