An Onitsha-based cleric, Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere popularly known as Odumeje, has apologised to people of Awka, Anambra state capital over alleged threat to destroy their festival, known as Imo-Awka.
The controversial cleric also tendered unreserved apology to the people of Arondizuogu in Imo state for allegedly vowing to put a stop to the Ikeji festival of the community.
In a statement on Monday, Odumeje described the people of both communities as peace- loving, who he claimed to have known and shared fellowship in his church over the years.
He however said the experience had thought him that ungaurded utterances with divisive tendencies needed to be checked.
The statement partly reads: “My attention has been drawn to the publications on social media over the alleged face-off between me and the good people of Awka and Arondizuogu Clcommunities in Anambra and Imo state respectively.
“In the said posts, I was potrayed as declaring war on the people of these communities and their respective traditional festivals and beliefs, It was also alleged that I had vowed to destroy Imo-Awka festival and put a stop to the Ikeji festival of Arondizuogu.
“Consequently, upon the above, I wish to acknowledge that the people of Awka and Arondizuogu Communities are peace loving and I have over the years come to share fellowship and service in church with a great number of them.
“These two communities and their renouned indegenes have been known and recognised as major contributors to the development of their states, Igboland and the nation at large.
“Awka and Arondizuogu communities have produced great men and women of integrity and pedigree and have always remained at the top of great sons and daughters of Igbo land.
“Against this backdrop and with every humility as a Servant of the Living God, I sincerely apologise to the great people of these two communities, to the entire people of Igbo land and to my elders for my utterances.I will not make any attempts to justify my statement as even I can see that it is hurtful in all its ramifications.
“I also want to specially apologize to the family of Mazi Pericomo of Arondizuogu who I understand until his passing was a diligent servant( Evangelist) of God.
“I apologise and put it on record that this experience has thought me that words that speak any form of divisive conversation amongst our people MUST be checked. This is a time for unity, love and unwavering support for each other.
“Similarly, I lend my voice to the directives of the federal and state government in observing all the COVID-19 protocols, while waiting on the Lord for the end of the pandemic.”