Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Nigeria governor denies becoming a pastor

By Charles Mgbolu | BBC News |

Controversial Nigerian Governor Rochas Okorocha lit up social media on Sunday after pictures of him anointing people in church went viral.

Rochas Okorocha
Rochas Okorocha

The question everyone was asking was: Had the the Imo state governor – who is known for his outlandish behaviour – become a pastor?

But the governor has rebuffed the suggestion.

In a text message to the BBC Igbo service, one of his advisers, Ebere Nzewuji, said the governor had been part of an anointing service in Owerri where the congregation had been asked to bless each other.

Mr Nzewuji said it was laughable that anyone would assume the governor would suddenly become a cleric.

But Mr Okorocha, who is serving a second and final term in office, is known for attention-seeking moves.

In October 2017, he stunned everyone when he unveiled a giant bronze statue of former South African President Jacob Zuma.

Mr Okorocha was accused of wasting scarce resources – and came in for criticism as Mr Zuma faces corruption charges in South Africa, which he denies.

The governor now has 10 statues of former African leaders – much to the indignation of many in the state.

He has also set up a new Imo state department called the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, headed by sister, in December last year.

Mr Okorocha is currently battling factions within his own political party– the governing All Progressives Congress – following accusations he wants his son-in law to succeed him as governor.