From Nnamdi Ofonye, Owerri
Persons suspected to be witch doctors and traditional rulers yesterday stormed the Imo government house to perform what they described as exorcism of any evil spirit or curse the protest of the widows may have incurred for the governor.
The exercise which was punctuated by pouring of libation at the main gate of the Imo government house was presided over by traditional rulers from the governor Rochas Okorocha community of Ideato South.
The monarchs lampooned the Minister of Education (State) Prof Mrs. Viola Onwuliri for allegedly mobilizing the widows who were brutalized in the course of their protest march against the governor by youths who were only dispersed by the timely intervention of the Nigerian Army.
Speaking at the Government House Owerri, the Chairman of Ideato Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Ethelbert I. Ajaraogu of Ogwume Community, said he and the entire Council of Ndi Eze in the LGA had earlier visited the Traditional Ruler of Amuzi in Ahiazu Mbaise where Onwuliri hails from, Eze Innocent Ugochukwu to implore him to warn their daughter, Prof (Mrs.) Onwuliri and her group against contending with a seating governor.
In very clear terms, Eze Ajaraogu pointed out that they came to the Government House to neutralize whatever evil the action of the widows may have attracted, as they jointly poured libation to cleanse the Douglas House.
Freely pouring the libation, they prayed for divine guidance and protection of Governor Rochas Okorocha saying, “Our son, Owelle Okorocha, you did not cheat anyone to come to government house but was duly elected by the entire Imo people. so no one will hurt you. Fear not, your people are with you and you shall come again,” he chanted.
Meanwhile, Professor Viola Onwuliri has called on Governor Rochas Okorocha to apologise to the widows for encouraging young men to attack and ‘beat up women old enough to be their mothers’.
She said, “apart from being a sacrilege in Igbo tradition, it is also 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”.
She denied any complicity in the organised protest by the widows or any plan by them to storm and burn down the government house as alleged arguing that such rumours by the Governor were just cover ups for his act of “violence against women” which has been condemned both locally and internationally.