The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has apologised the Catholic Church, his Lord Bishop Callistus Onaga and the priests of Enugu Diocese over the controversial events of the past week.
KanyiDaily recalls that Father Mbaka was declared missing on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, after his recent call on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be impeached.
Members of Adoration ministry had that same day stormed Bishop’s court at Igbo-Eze street demanding the whereabout of Fr Mbaka who was feared to have been abducted.
It was gathered that the protest led to the destruction of the Enugu Catholic Diocese Bishop’s Court and Holy Ghost Cathedral in Enugu.
While delivering a sermon at the Adoration Ground on Sunday, Father Mbaka clarified that the church did not kidnap him and apologised to people who may have misunderstood his statement when he resurfaced in Enugu.
The cleric said he was misquoted by people who wanted to cause problems between him and the church, adding that the Wednesday protest was hijacked by hoodlums who unleashed mayhem on the church.
“I wish to apologise to whoever that misunderstood my statement at New Haven. I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything,” he said.
“I, Fr Mbaka standing on your behalf and I render my sincere unalloyed apologies to the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church where I belong and say may the mother church forgive us in anyway we didn’t do it well even in all that I said, where I didn’t say it well, we pray for their forgiveness.
“I am on your behalf, kneeling down for the church and I say may the church forgive. What has happened has happened we are to save the image of the church and the face of the church and the souls of the son of God we cannot lose my soul because of what has happened.
“I am a baby of the church and I stand here to tell you that nothing can destroy the church. I speak as a messenger of God and a mere servant.
“Please, I have to clarify this, Fr Mbaka has no problem with the Church and I do not have any problem with my bishop. Enemies want to achieve that by causing discord, but I will not allow it because, there is something in me that will conquer such problems.
“I do not disobey the church, who am I? How can someone who has been serving the church for nearly 26 years come out and begin to fight the same church? Everything in my life is for the church.
“That thing is the gift of humility and obedience to the church, to the glory of God. I do not want to tell negative stories about what happened because the incident now belongs to the past.
“When the protest continued to gather more momentum that day, I was asked by my bishop to come and take away the protesters to avoid the situation getting out of hand.
“You know the issue attracted media hype; Fr Mbaka is missing, Mbaka has been kidnapped and all that. But I was never kidnapped. I was at a place that my bishop asked me to proceed for personal prayer.
“I almost had a terrible accident when I was hurrying to the Bishop’s Court after I was asked to come and calm the restive crowd of protesters.
“I asked the bishop (on phone), shall I move to the Adoration ground? He said yes. And I asked what about the Sunday Mass, he said tell them you will celebrate it with them. I answered, yes my Lord and proceeded.
“As we were moving through New Haven, I got another call that I should rush to Holy Ghost cathedral, that another mammoth crowd had entered the cathedral premises and threatening to wreck havoc there if I did not appear to address them in person.
“I never knew that any damage was caused in Bishop’s house. “When I got to the OSISATEC (Poly) Roundabout, I saw a thick crowd. I then came out and waved at them. Immediately they saw me, they started following me back.
“I didn’t enter the cathedral. I never knew that even a glass was broken. “What I was praising those that trooped out that day was not about anything that was destroyed but for their ability to search for your missing pastor.
“And I beg you, whenever any priest goes missing, please, look for him. If any of our priests is kidnapped, you should not rest! Whether it happened in Onitsha, Aba, Nnewi, even in Maiduguri or Yorubaland, search for him. This is because we share one priesthood of Christ Jesus.
“If I hear that my bishop is missing, for instance, I will do everything possible, by the grace of God to find him. “I am taking my time to explain things because there were a lot of misinformation and the devil entered into the story.
“The church did not kidnap me. “So, I wish to apologize to whoever that misunderstood my statement. I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything.
“Again, I praise you people (supporters) for protecting the Sanctissimus; the Blessed Sacrament was not tampered with. And God will bless you because I heard that the ‘Search for Fr Mbaka’ was high jacked.
“I heard that some people joined up and started breaking things, and that virtually people of all tribes, Christians and non-Christians as well as Catholics and non-Catholics joined in the search.”
Father Mbaka maintained that his statement praising the parishioners was because of their quest to look for their missing priest.
“What I was praising you for was not for anything destroyed. I was praising you for your ability to search for your missing pastor,” Mbaka added.
He also enjoined them to look for any priest that goes missing in Nigeria because “we are sharing in one priesthood of Christ Jesus.
The priest said his parishioners prevented the hoodlums from destroying the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral and also burning down the Bishop’s Court.
“I thank God nobody died. One person was said to have poured himself fuel and started pouring it round the Bishop’s Court and wanted to light himself up with the house, is that not another type of suicide bomber.
“But the adoration people beat the hell out of him. And some other wanters to destroy the sanctimum and the grotto but the Adoration members block them and started praying”, he said
Father Mbaka said the parishioners will agree on a day to go in their large numbers to the Bishop and apologise to him.
KanyiDaily recalls that the Catholic Diocese of Enugu had earlier suspended Father Mbaka from church activities for one month over his recent his recent criticism of President Buhari’s Government.