Native doctors and traditional rulers yesterday stormed the Imo Government House, Owerri to perform what they described as exorcism of evil spirits, saying they came to cleanse the state of the curse placed by widows who protested last Tuesday.
The libation-pouring exercise, which began at the main gate of the Government House, was presided over by traditional rulers mainly from the Governor Rochas Okorocha’s community of Ideato South.
According to TheNationalMirror, the monarchs alleged that the Minister of State for Education, Prof Viola Onwuliri, mobilised the widows who were brutalised in the course of their protest march against the governor.
It would be recalled that a few days back, hundreds of women mobilized by the Minister of State for Education, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri stormed Government house to protest against Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration.
Soldiers reportedly under orders from Ms. Onwuliri also heightened the tension as they positioned
one armored personnel carrier (APC) at the entrance of the Government House. Some sources claimed that the soldiers assaulted Mr. Okorocha’s supporters who came out to oppose the rampaging women sponsored by the minister.
Onwuliri and Governor Okorocha have been engaged in a series of verbal feuds, with the minister vowing not to allow the governor to work against President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.
Sources said the women who invaded Government House in Owerri, the Imo State capital, were widows recruited from the 27 local government areas. As early as 6.30 a.m., the women assembled along Okigwe Road in Owerri, chanting anti-Okorocha slogans. They then proceeded to Government House with a mock coffin, but security men attached to Government House dispersed them.
Chairman of Ideato Council of Traditional Rulers, Ajaraogu of Ogwume Community, Eze Ethelbert,
said he and the entire council of Ndi Eze in the council area had earlier visited the traditional ruler of Amuzi in Ahiazu Mbaise, Eze Innocent Ugochukwu, to warn their daughter, Onwuliri, and her group against contending with the governor.
Eze Ajaraogu stated that they came to the Government House to neutralise whatever evil the action of the widows may have attracted, as they jointly poured libation to cleanse the Douglas House.
Pouring the libation, they prayed for divine guidance and protection of Okorocha saying:
“Our son, Owelle Okorocha, you did not cheat anyone to come to Government House but were duly elected by the entire Imo people, so no one will hurt you. Fear not, your people are with you and you shall return,” he chanted.
Also, the deputy chairman, Eze Peter Ewuziem of Umuakam noted that for over 40 years he has been on the throne, “this is the first time anyone would carry a coffin to the domain of either civilian or military leader; any person who planned this evil must receive it back.”
However, one of the brutalised widows maintained that she was part of the protest march and no coffin was on display. She said:
“Who would carry the coffin, is it the old women? There was no coffin anywhere, but if they insist they saw a coffin, then perhaps their gods may be giving them a sign of doom.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Onwuliri has called on the governor to apologise to the widows for encouraging young men to “attack and beat up their mothers.”
She said, “Even in the Bible, there is a curse attached to such atrocity and whoever may have participated or engineered the attack on harmless widows, who merely engaged in a peaceful protest, cannot go unpunished.”