Anambra Governor Chukwuma Soludo has ordered disciplinary actions for the personnel involved in the manhandling of Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere (Odumeje) during Thursday’s demolition of the cleric’s church.
Odumeje’s church was marked for demolition in April in line with Onitsha Urban Renewal Plan spearheaded by Soludo-led administration.
During Thursday’s demolition exercise, Odumeje was manhandled by security agencies, who accompanied the demolition team following his attempt to stop the officials from carrying out the exercise.
A viral video showed the comic cleric being manhandled by security men, including police officers and men of the vigilantes services.
He was slapped and restricted from moving to the demolition area by armed security men.
The cleric’s attack was greeted with mixed reactions with many condemning the attack and describing it as unfair.
Others however viewed it as a welcome development, alleging he had severally invaded shrines considered sacred and known to be places of worship, while destroying them.
But Soludo, in a statement, condemned the brutalisation of the cleric,.
He regretted what he described as unprofessional display of the officer.
He said: “Yesterday’s outing has evoked emotions, not against the decision of government, but the imperfect and unprofessional manner with which one of the task force members discharged his lawful duty.
“This is highly regretted, and would never happen again. I have instructed that the task force personnel involved in the manhandling of Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere (Odumeje) be treated in accordance with the rules of public conduct which he roundly failed to uphold.”
Appreciating residents for their understanding, the Governor noted that it “takes audacious steps towards making our Anambra a liveable and prosperous homeland.”
He added: “On this journey, imperfect steps will be taken, emotions will run wild and opinions will grow thick. What is pertinent to note is that we shall remain undaunted, correct our imperfections, strive to put our emotions in check and aggregate opinions that are in the interest of our overall good.
“We will continue to work to actualize the mandate you have given to us. Nothing short of the best outcomes is guaranteed. On behalf of the government and good people of Anambra State, I condemn the assault, and further ask for your continued support in the fight to restore the dignity of Onitsha, and indeed the totality of our Homeland.”