Intelligence and Community reports received by the police revealed that a group of Roman Catholic faithful are planning a protest match and demonstration on Sunday 2nd July, 2017. The demonstration may not be unconnected with the crisis that bedeviled the Ahiara Diocese of the Catholic Church in Mbaise over the appointment of the Diocesan Bishop by the Pope and the recent visit to Rome by some Catholic leaders. The Imo State Police Command has ordered that the rally/protest in whatever form or guise be stopped because it has great potentials of causing a breach of peace and breakdown of law and order.
In a press statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Enwerem on behalf of Imo Police Commissioner, states that "you may recall that at the heat of this crises in 2016, a similar demonstration led to the shooting and injuring of a senior Police officer who escaped death by whiskers.
Accordingly, the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Chris O. Ezike convened a meeting of the Clergy, Priests, executive of the laity council and other Church elders from both divides of the dispute. The meeting which held today 29th June, 2017 at the State Police Headquarters, Owerri also had in attendance top management of the Imo State Police Command. At the end of the meeting which lasted over three hours, the revelations and passion displayed by the parties informed a decision by the State Police Command to stop the rally/protest in whatever form or guise because it has great potentials of causing a breach of peace and breakdown of law and order.
Consequently, the general public is hereby informed that the proposed rally/protest has been cancelled by the State Police Command because of security concerns. Members of the public especially residents of Ahiara Mbaise, Roman Catholic faithful in Ahiara Mbaise Dioceses are advised to go about their lawful business without fear of any molestation as the Command will make strategic development of human and materials assets to guarantee public safety.
Parents and guardians are advised to warn their children/ wards to adhere strictly to this directives so as not come in conflict with the law.
We must give peace a chance."