As the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election draws nearer, the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige has embroiled himself in unwanted controversy following allegations that he slapped a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Ezekwona at a burial ceremony in Nanka, Agulu, Anambra State on Thursday.
Senator Ngige was said to have become furious when he erroneously concluded that Rev. Fr. Ezekwona was deliberately standing in his way and suddenly snapped, pouncing on the hapless priest, strangling him first and then unleashing a torrent of slaps on both sides of the clergy man's face.
The incident took place at the at the burial of the mother of the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor in Nanka which attracted prominent sons and daughter the state including politicians.
An eye witness, Obiora Onwuama, who observed the scuffle, revealed that after unleashing his fury on Rev. Fr. Ezekwona, Ngige was not fully satisfied and promptly instructed his personal aides to torture him and they promptly pounced and inflicted more bodily injuries on him.
“We were all horrified at the sight. Senator Ngige must have acted blindly because the man was dressed in his cassock. There were screams of shock and horror from the onlookers but Senator Ngige could not be stopped. He must have mistaken Fr. Evaristus for a member of the opposition party,” Onwuama explained in total disbelief.
According to him, the earlier assumption that Senator Ngige may have acted in error soon gave way to a deeper fear when upon his instruction, his aides descended heavily on the hapless priest, punching and kicking him to the consternation of onlookers.
The APC gubernatorial candidate seems
to be courting controversy with ease in recent times starting with his ill-conceived statement justifying the deportation of 79 Igbos from Lagos to the poorly timed kick-off of his campaign rally in Onitsha on the same day that the Ofala Festival was taking place which provoked the anger of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe and his cabinet.
Ngige was also recently reported to have engaged the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi in a futile tussle for prominence when he hijacked the governor’s seat at a recent Mass conducted by Arch-Bishop Valerian Okeke at the Onitsha Prisons and rebuffed all entreaties to relinquish the seat.
The diminutive Senator has also been fingered for pulling down and pouring black oil on the APGA candidate’s billboards placed in strategic locations across the state.