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Controversial Nigerian Catholic Priest Resurfaces after Followers Storm Bishop’s Residence

Fr. Ejike Mbaka who resurfaced Wednesday, May 5 after reportedly missing. His supporters had stormed the Bishop's residence demanding his whereabouts / Credit: Courtesy Photo

The controversial Nigerian Catholic Priest who had been reported missing has resurfaced hours after his supporters stormed the Bishop’s residence Wednesday, May 5, demanding to know the Cleric’s whereabouts.

The reported disappearance of Fr. Ejike Mbaka, a member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese, is said to have enraged his supporters who attacked the residence of the Bishop, causing destruction of property.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, May 5, the Communications Director of the Diocese of Enugu, Fr. Benjamin Achi, described the alleged disappearance of Fr. Mbaka as “misinformation.”

“He has resurfaced at 2.40 p.m. after a mob attacked the Bishop's house this morning destroying lots and lots of things,” Fr. Achi said in reference to Fr. Mbaka, the founder and Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministries in the Diocese of Enugu.

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Members of the Adoration Ministry had taken to the streets of Enugu, some of them storming the Bishop’s residence as they demanded to know the whereabouts of their founder. 

The protesters claimed that the Local Ordinary of Enugu, Bishop Callistus Onaga, had invited Fr. Mbaka for a meeting on Sunday, May 2 and since then, he (Mbaka) had not been seen. 

Last week, the controversial Catholic Priest had reportedly called on Nigeria’s Members of Parliament to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari should he fail to resign over increasing insecurity in Nigeria. 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the controversial Fr. Mbaka arrived at the residence of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese in the afternoon of May 5 “in a motorcade amidst jubilation from his Adoration faithful.”

“He, however, stopped in front of the Bishop’s court and addressed his supporters urging them to remain calm and return to the Adoration ground for further information,” NAN has reported. 

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In the May 5 interview with ACI Africa, the Communications Director of the Diocese of Enugu said that Fr. Mbaka was “not missing.”

“It's a misinformation by the members of his Adoration ministry,” Fr. Achi said, adding that while it cannot be confirmed that Bishop Onaga had actually invited Fr. Mbaka for a meeting, “If the Bishop invited him, it must (have been) something private and was not supposed to be made public.”

“We shall be coming up with a statement later,” Fr. Achi told ACI Africa May 5, adding that the leadership of the Nigerian Diocese is waiting for the situation to calm down.

Fr. Mbaka has since sought to defend his Priestly ministry saying he is an instrument of God engaged in charity.

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"I have no problem with the Church, I don't have any problem with the Catholic Church nor with any Church. Am just a servant of God. Am just an instrument of God. Nobody will stop me from doing the charity am doing," Fr. Mbaka says in a video recording published on Facebook May 5.

Last year, the Catholic Priest was faulted for engaging in partisan politics after he was captured, in a video recording, expressing explicit support for one candidate in the gubernatorial elections of Nigeria’s Imo State.

Reacting to the video, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Nigeria’s Lagos Archdiocese said, “It’s utterly surprising that Fr. Mbaka would go so far as to name one person as governor against another.” 

“It is embarrassing when you hear of Priests, people in position authority, making statements that are clearly partisan as far as politics is concerned,” Archbishop Adewale further said, adding that Fr. Mbaka’s actions at the time must be giving his Local Ordinary “a bit of a headache.”

“I can imagine that this must be giving the Bishop some challenges,” Archbishop Adewale said, and added, “I hope that he (Bishop) finds some way of dealing with this matter that has been recurring from time to time.”