Followers of the Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka have protested against the ban imposed on the ministry by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Callistus Onaga.
Mbaka and Peter Obi
Bishop Onaga had banned Catholics from attending the Adoration Ministry, following Mbaka’s recent utterances against the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
On June 16, the priest declared that the former Anambra governor cannot be Nigeria’s President because he is a stingy man who refused to donate to the church.
Mbaka, who also described Obi as a joker, said many abusive things about the LP presidential candidate which drew public anger toward him on social media.
Amid the outrage, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu had issued a statement where it condemned and dissociated the church from Mbaka’s comments.
Adoration Ministry Ban
The church said that Mbaka’s action was contrary to canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
Hours later, following widespread criticism, Mbaka apologized for the remarks against Obi, saying his intention was not to malign the latter’s image.
In a statement on Saturday, Bishop Onaga barred Catholics from attending the adoration ministry till further notice and advised all faithful to pray for Mbaka.
Bishop Onaga said the decision is “based on the fact that some of the teachings and utterances of Fr Camillus Ejike Mbaka of the Catholic Adoration Ministry are not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic church”.
Adoration Ministry Protest
Barely 24 hours after the ban, Mbaka’s followers gathered on Sunday morning at the Adoration Ground and started a massive protest against Bishop Onaga.
The protesters, who chanted anti-Bishop Onaga songs, called him unprintable names, querying his authority for clamping down on Mbaka’s Ministry.
The supporters, who threatened to take the protest to the premises of the bishop at the Independent Layout, Enugu, were, however, prevented from doing so as security operatives rose to the occasion to ensure they did not protest beyond the Adoration ground.
Some of the protesters, who were seen chanting: “No more Onaga,” “Onaga Must Go,” were also violent as they stopped people, including newsmen from taking pictures or videos of what was happening.
It was gathered that a BBC Igbo journalist, who was covering the protest live, was forcefully stopped by members of the ministry who attacked anyone taking pictures of the incident.
One of the protesters, who spoke to newsmen said: “We don’t think the bishop should have closed down the church over a comment made by our father and spiritual leader.
“Mbaka has done nothing wrong. What he ever said was his personal opinion and not that of the church so, I wonder why the bishop should take such action against the church. Besides, he (Mbaka) has apologised.”
Another one said: “The bishop’s action will not affect Mbaka in any way. We are the ones being affected here. We’re the ones suffering from this.
“He (Mbaka) has been more than a father to us. They will not commend him for the good he is doing but will rather find fault in what he says.”
“Our spiritual director has done nothing wrong. He is a man of God and talks as the spirit leads him. So, Bishop Onaga cannot just wake up and ban the ministry. They are trying to dictate to him what to say and what not to say,” one of the protesters said.
Meanwhile, an officiating priest at the Holy Ghost Cathedral of Enugu Catholic Diocese on Sunday, Rev. Fr. Michael Ogbuh, has told Mbaka’s followers they are the greatest enemy of their Spiritual Director.
Fr. Ogbuh, who was speaking during his homily about the Holy Eucharist, said it was the same people who praised Mbaka to high heavens that make him feel like a small god.
“Exactly a year ago, some of you led a protest to destroy this cathedral. That is what makes him feel like a small god and refusing to stick to his vow of obedience.
“You have to focus your attention on Jesus Christ who we are celebrating today in the Eucharist,” he said.
Watch the video below:
Adoration Fada Mbaka: Ndị otu Fada Mbaka na-eme ngagharịiwe ugbua maka na Bishop Onaga machiri ekpere Adoration.
Lee ka o si afịọ ugbua.
Posted by BBC News Igbo on Sunday, June 19, 2022
KanyiDaily recalls that in 2018, Father Mbaka embarrassed himself while trying to extort money from Peter Obi and suggesting that he will support Buhari over his refusal.
Amidst the outrage trailing the incident, Peter Obi reached out to his supporters restraining them from attacking Fr. Mbaka because of his love for the priest.