The sudden disappearance and resurfacing of Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry, in Enugu, after his whereabouts was not known for over 24 hours saved what would have been a major crisis in Enugu.
Mbaka was said to have been seen last on Tuesday morning when he left his Adoration arena to answer an invitation by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Callistus Onaga, at the Bishop’s Court.
It was not clear at the time if security operatives used the bishop to invite him for questioning over his recent altercations with the Presidency following his call that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation and should resign or be impeached.
The Presidency, through Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media, launched an attack on him, accusing him of being angry because the President refused to give him contract, an allegation Mbaka has also denied.
The confusion over his whereabouts after almost 48 hours prompted the Adoration family to protest to the Bishop to demand the whereabouts of their spiritual father. They accused the Bishop of inviting Mbaka and handed him over to the Federal Government to destroy him. When the Bishop was nowhere to address them and nobody was delegated to address them at the Bishop’s Court where hundreds of them had gathered, they became violent, destroying windows and doors’ glasses.
The protesters decided to move to Holy Ghost the Headquarters of the Catholic Church in Enugu. As the news of Mbaka’s unknown whereabouts spread, tension began to build in all parts of Enugu metropolis. Tricycle riders in their numbers with fresh leaves hoisted on their tricycles as a sign of solidarity joined and led the way to the Holy Ghost.
However, as they were making their way to the place news filtered in that Mbaka had come out. The news was received with jubilations as the crowd went into frenzy and they decided to make their way back to the Adoration ground where they were still waiting for him as at the time of filing the report.
Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka then disclosed that his 24 hours ‘disappearance’ was an incarceration by the Enugu Catholic Bishop, Most Rev Callistus Onaga, whom he accused of conniving with others to detain him because he spoke favourably about the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Mbaka said he was only released because the adoration faithful protested his unexplained disappearance. Mbaka who spoke late on Wednesday at his adoration ground after regaining freedom, practically accused the authorities of the Enugu Catholic Diocese of Mastermind.
He said he was kept incommunicado by the Bishop, whom he further alleged planned to keep him for 30 days. He said a lot of issues were presented against him after which the Church leadership, led by Bishop Calistus Onaga told him that he would remain indoors for one month, a period that would allow him pray and meditate over his activities.
Mbaka said he requested to be allowed the opportunity to come and address his parishioners after which he would shut down, “but they said no. I also begged them to allow me send another priest to come and celebrate mass for you today, they said no,” he told the parishioners.
He said Bishop Onaga upon seeing the protest over his predicament allowed him to go. Mbaka said the church was strong against him for blessing Nnamdi Kanu. “Are you the owner of my mouth? You can’t tell me who to bless? If you are not happy that I blessed someone, you have your own mouth, you can curse the person.
“They didn’t treat me in a pastoral way and I was asking, am I being punished? for what? They said it was a meeting, but even before I reached the Bishop’s house, the conclusion had already been made. What happened to me was like the day I was shot on the road.
“Unfortunately for them, even before the meeting, a woman was already going around bragging that the Bishop will call me for a meeting, and that I was going to leave my house here for 30 days, and that after the 30 days, I would be sent to Rome, and Adoration ministry will be closed.
“In a time and cases like this, don’t give me a punishment that will cause troubles for us because I’m not alone.” Mbaka said that another thing presented to him was his recent criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government.
“I cannot hate my brother because of some people whose hate is in their genes,” Mbaka said.
The Rev. said he was not deterred but rather happy that the truth is “heating the Presidency hard”. According to him, the three people referred to as contractors by the Presidency were people that came to help the country fight insecurity in the country during the first tenure of President Buhari, pointing out that “they had the gadgets and facilities to lift Nigeria out of security challenges.”
He maintained his position that “as directed by the Holy Spirit,” he still insists that Buhari cannot do it again; he should resign or be impeached. Adding that “age and health are not on his side anymore. Fallacy cannot terrorise my courage. We are working under the law. They have never given me any contract but I want to reassure you even if 100 oil blocks are offered to me that cannot bastardise my prophetic anointing.
“With enormous joy, I am happy that the truth is heating them hard. No amount of money can merchandise the Holy Ghost anointing in me. Father Mbaka is un-bribable. Even if they come and build the highest university here, that cannot bribe me.
“When the Holy Spirit asks me to speak, I will speak out. So the statement is let them provide a job for you. Let them leave my people; they should not allow hunger to kill people, let them give you something to eat. Let them make our education qualitative.
“Healthy medical facilities; no longer for the rich going outside the country to treat themselves and the poor perish here; never again. The Holy Spirit is still saying what he said; if you are in a football match no matter how good the player is and has injury and can’t play well anymore, he will pack himself out of the field.
“The opponent is laughing and the international community is watching us. The country was named 3rd worst country on Wednesday last week. We are not afraid of them. Buhari cannot do it again; health and age are not on his side. We need a stronger and experienced goal keeper in a time like this.
“If they want to put it that it was because of a contract, let them come and build the highest university here and begin to mess up, I will still speak. I am speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I am not in any political party and not supporting anybody.
“I am not supporting any terrorist group, neither will I allow you to brand my people terrorists because they are not terrorists. It is very simple because like I said those who are carrying cattle and riffles killing people are they called terrorists?
“How can IPOB people who are walking about without a machete or sticks be called terrorists. Maybe they are not well informed. They are hungry people; you have to provide a job for them. Engage them and see if they can complain again.
“The three men that came in to handle insecurity in the country said they have the gadgets and facilities, this was during the first administration and that they were willing to help in containing insecurity, to help the country stop insecurity within less than one month.
“And I handed them over to the federal government. I don’t know them but they came to Enugu and pleaded for me to link them to the government. Due to the level of insecurity and how Nigeria has been moving their oil to outside countries, they said they have all the apparatus to revive the oil and recruit all youths in the industry and the issue of insecurity and killing will die.
“These are the three people they rejected their offer. What will I gain from the people that came in for the purpose of securing the country? I don’t even have their contact”, he said.
After addressing the congregation and those who came out en masse to show solidarity for Mbaka’s absence and reappearance, there was a lot of cheering, jubilation and applause.