By Charles Igwe
The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri has categorically dismissed claims that it granted approval for the construction of a flyover project adjacent to the Maria Assumpta Cathedral in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
In an official statement dated August 7, 2023, and endorsed by Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Mbarah, Archdiocesan Chancellor/Secretary, the Archdiocese firmly denied any involvement in or endorsement of the aforementioned flyover project.
Fr. Mbarah clarified that the widely circulated information on social media alleging that the newly-appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese, His Grace Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, approved the flyover project was entirely baseless. Fr. Mbarah further clarified that Archbishop Ugorji had not engaged in any discussions concerning the flyover project since commencing his duties in June 2022.
Fr. Mbarah concluded the statement by urging the public to dismiss the misleading information.
The social media report implied that the former Archbishop of the Archdiocese, His Grace Most Rev. Anthony Valentine Obinna, had opposed the flyover project’s construction on account of its potential impact on the aesthetics of the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri.
It hinted that his successor, Archbishop Ugorji, might have given his endorsement to the construction project. Government officials claimed that the project aimed to alleviate traffic congestion in the relevant area of Owerri Metropolis.
In light of the Archdiocese’s denial, it is evident that there is no factual basis for the claims circulated on social media regarding the Catholic Church’s involvement in the flyover project.