By Gid Ahanonu
Retired Permanent Secretaries, directors and other senior civil servants in Imo State, last Sunday, converged at Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, to offer thanksgiving to God for keeping them alive despite the challenges of not being paid their pensions for several months.
They pleaded passionately with the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna to personally take the matter up with Governor Rochas Okorocha, believing that he would listen to him, being a man of God, and pay them. According to them, they are being owed eight to ten months arrears and despite all the publications, correspondence and delegations to the governor, the pensions and gratuities have remain unpaid.
They lamented that present day governors flout the constitution and civil service rules and without regard to the principles of separation of powers.
Responding, Archbishop Obinna urged them to be prayerful and to recognize the power of the cross of Christ which, he said, replaces the traditional “ofo na ogu” which was the weapon of war and justice for Ndigbo.
He also told them to be pure in heart and avoid evil, assuring them that he would seek God’s guidance to know how to intervene.
In his sermon, Most Rev. Obinna charged Christians to listen to the word of God which, he said, could liberate them from spiritual blindness, deafness and lameness.
He spoke against segregation among the rich and the poor, young and old as well as priests and the laymen as everyone is rated equal before God.