Followers of fiery Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, yesterday threatened mass protest, following his alleged removal as the spiritual leader of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu.
Their anger followed information that Mbaka’s replacement, Rev. Fr. Anthony Amadi, will resume tomorrow to take charge of the Adoration Ministry as chaplain.
But the Enugu Catholic Diocese rose to douse the tension as news spread that Mbaka had been transferred from the Adoration Ministry to an undisclosed monastery.
The diocese explained that the cleric was merely asked to take time away in solitude and would be returned.
The followers were seen at Mbaka’s residence at the adoration ground, wailing and shouting: “We say no, we don’t want any other priest”; “Fr. Mbaka is not going anywhere”, “We won’t take it”, among others.
While the chanting continued, Mbaka was on the balcony upstairs watching them.
A member of the ministry said they would not accept the development.
The member said: “We learned that our daddy has been transferred and replaced by one Fr. Amadi. That particular development changed the mood of the adorers this (yesterday) morning.
“But I can assure you that no priest will succeed there. So long as Fr. Mbaka is not there, nobody will come there to worship. We will have to let the Bishop know this.
“He (Bishop of the Diocese), Most. Rev. Callistus Onaga) is trying to create anarchy. It’s unthinkable that this kind of harsh decision could be made by him. We the adorers will never accept any other priest. We will let him know our feelings on Wednesday.
“We all know how persecution led to Fr. Mbaka being removed from CKC at GRA to where he is now. He built that place with sole effort. And now they want to remove him.”
Another follower urged Bishop Onaga to rescind his decision, saying: “People who come here are not Catholics alone, and they don’t come here because of Onaga and his priests. We come here because of Fr. Mbaka. And if he is not here, you won’t see anyone here. It’s as simple as that and nothing can change it.”
The Enugu Catholic Diocese denied removing the cleric, saying Mbaka was asked to take time away in solitude, to listen to what the Spirit of God had to tell him.
Spokesman and Director of Communications, Enugu Diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, said Mbaka would return to the AMEN.
He referred our correspondent to a viral interview he granted to the National Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Padre Mike Nsikak Umoh, to find the true position.
In the said interview, Fr. Achi disclosed that following the proposal for solitude, Mbaka was allowed to propose a priest to administer, in the interim, to the faithful at the Adoration Ministry.
He added that with the approval of Bishop Callistus Onaga, on October 2, 2022, Fr. Mbaka introduced Fr. Anthony Amadi to the worshippers to take charge while he would be away.
This, the spokesman said, did not go down well with some of the faithful, who insisted that Mbaka must remain.
“He (Mbaka) was allowed to propose a priest to administer, in the interim, to the faithful at the Adoration Ministry.
“With the approval of his Bishop, on Sunday, 2 October 2022, Fr. Mbaka introduced Fr. Anthony Amadi to the worshippers.
“Unfortunately, some people were still not pleased.”
Mbaka’s troubles started in June when Bishop Onaga banned Catholics from attending the Adoration Ministry.
The ban was lifted last Thursday and he had his first outing in the adoration ministry.
However, Mbaka went back to political prophecy about the 2023 presidency.
Members of the Catholic Church in Nnewi Diocese, Anambra State, have staged a protest, following the sack of Holy Ghost Priests by the Bishop in the area.
The protesters marched through Saint Martin’s Catholic Church Ihiala and along the roads with chaplets, protesting what they described as a draconian decision.
The Bishop of Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra State, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, had asked the Holy Ghost Priests to leave the area allegedly because he wanted to bring his people.
The Holy Ghost Fathers had been in charge of St. Martin’s Church for over 100 years during which they established many churches and schools, including the popular Holy Ghost Juniorate Seminary, Ihiala and some universities.
Secretary of the Coordinating Committee of the Concerned Ihiala Citizens, Mr. Nonye Chukwu, said the people of Ihiala had written to the Bishop to shelve the idea to sack the priests, adding that he had yet to act on their letter.
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