The clerics, consisting of bishops of various denominations, spoke under the auspices of Concerned Church Leaders Forum yesterday in Owerri.
Briefing journalists after their meeting in the capital, the National Vice President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, accompanied by the bishop of Anglican Diocese of Oru, Geoffrey Chukwuneye, state chairman of the Fellowship, Bishop Ezennaya Egbo, General Overseer of Balm of Gilead, Victor Isiodu, among others, regretted that the bill was finding its way into the Assembly after it had been rejected by legislatures in the South East zone over a year ago. He therefore queried its resurrection.
The religious leaders said they were taking last week’s assurance by Speaker Acho Ihim that the piece of legislation was dead on arrival with a pinch of salt since a legislature in another state had recapitulated in a recent past.
Ihim, in a statement, has said the bill was dead “before arrival.”
The clerics equally faulted the impeachment process of the state deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere, just as they demanded for an apology over the recent arrest and subsequent arraignment of a pastor with the Assemblies of God Church in Owerri.
They also sought the re deployment and retirement of the state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandachi, for ordering the arrest on the pulpit.
Ilechukwu said: “We vehemently oppose the bill by the Imo House of Assembly to establish cattle ranches in the state.
We feel ashamed of that legislature that could not provide a cost benefit analysis of such vicious project before enacting a law to support same.”
On the ongoing removal process of Madumere, he noted: “It is also surprising that the House of Assembly has commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor just at the twilight of the regime.
The circumstances are so irritating and unconscionable.
It is awfully deplorable that anything that could reduce the unprecedented torment and destitution ravaging almost every home in Imo State is least important to government.
“We appeal to all concerned to sheathe their sword and avoid overheating the polity.”
They held that the conditions of the people were despicable and hopeless, stressing that it was insensible to aggravate their agonies.
Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Enwerem, said the law was no respecter of person, stressing that the pastor was arrested for “defaming” another person.