CONTROVERSIAL clergyman Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka has revealed that he disappeared for 24 hours earlier this week because he was detained by the Enugu Catholic bishop Most Reverend Callistus Onaga for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reverend Mbaka, the spiritual director of the Adoration Ministry in Enugu, achieved national fame in 2014 when during a Christmas mass he predicted impending doom for the then President Goodluck Jonathan. He supported President Muhammadu Buhari when he assumed office but since then, however, he has become a fierce critic of the government, accusing it of betraying the hope a lot of Nigerians had in it.
Last week, Reverend Mbaka called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign because God is angry with him over the widespread killing of innocent people across Nigeria. Yesterday afternoon, Reverend Father Mbaka resurfaced in Enugu after going missing for a day amid fears that he had been detained by the Department of State Security.
Speaking at the Adoration Ground today, Reverend Father Mbaka accused Bishop Onaga of conniving with others to detain him because he spoke favourably about the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra (Ipob) Nnamdi Kanu. Reverend Mbaka said he was only released because the adoration faithful protested his unexplained disappearance.
Accusing the authorities of the Enugu Catholic Diocese of masterminding his abduction, Reverend Mbaka said he was kept incommunicado by the bishop, who he 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 Onaga told him that he would remain indoors for one month, a period that would allow him pray and meditate over his activities.
Reverend Father 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. He said Bishop Onaga only allowed him to go after seeing the protests that followed his disappearance.
“I also begged them to allow me to send another priest to come and celebrate mass for you today, they said no. I asked them 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 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,” Reverend Father Mbaka added.