By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI — Priests of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, have started strategizing to tackle the anti-life legislation recently signed into law by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Vanguard investigation revealed that the clerics held their first meeting last Thursday at Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri.
Feelers from the meeting chaired by His Grace, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, revealed that one of the major issues discussed was the controversial abortion law foisted on the people by the state.
One of the priests said: “We met to properly position ourselves to effectively battle the controversial abortion law recently signed by Governor Rochas Okorocha.”
Meanwhile, Archbishop Obinna has called for immediate abrogation of the state laws containing what he termed “anti-life legislation” signed by Okorocha and his predecessor, Chief Achike Udenwa in 2012 and 2007 respectively.
Archbishop Obinna, who was visibly angry as he spoke on a number of issues, including the controversial abortion law and this year’s Odenigbo Lecture, insisted that all anti-life laws in the state must be abrogated.
“We are calling for immediate abrogation of all anti-life legislations in the state. Although the church will not be mirred in the nation’s murky waters of partisan politics, it will, however, continue to demonstrate interest in the nation’s democratic process for the common good of the citizenry.”
He expressed regret that after beating a regret that followed public outcry in 2010, the State House of Assembly eventually legalized the evil of abortion, Governor Rochas Okorocha quietly signed the state Law number 12 of 2012.
According to the fiery Archbishop, this new law, which was signed May 29, 2012, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, contains obnoxious and lethal provisions.
“This new law contains obnoxious and lethal provisions. This law threatens many conceived but unborn children with imminent death. This is unacceptable, anti-life and unchristian,” Obinna said.
The Catholic cleric equally descended on former Governor Udenwa for assenting to “the Gender and Equal Opportunity Law Number 7 of 2007”.
The cleric noted that some sections of the law also legalized abortion without considering the right of the conceived, unborn child or the helplessness of the unborn baby.
He said: “Since abortion amounts to murder of the helpless, hapless child, we as God fearing people in Imo State, cannot standby and allow this law to rampage our society in the name of Women’s Reproductive and Gender Rights.”
On the forthcoming Owerri Archdiocesan Day and Odenigbo Lecture, Obinna explained that the former vice chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Peter Ejiofor, had been chosen as the lecturer, while the topic is “Igbo progressive welfare”.