Home Politics Mbaka: Socratic gadfly in the eyes of the storm

Mbaka: Socratic gadfly in the eyes of the storm

by News Echo
7 minutes read

Fiery Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, Founder of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN) is in the news again dwelling in his usual terrain of controversy.
In the last few days, the wide conversation in Enugu and its environs both in public and private homes centred on Rev. Fr. Mbaka’s alleged insubordination to his boss, Bishop Callistus Onaga vis-a-vis his outburst against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

The development almost tore the relatively quiet serenity of the State capital into shreds as Mbaka followers on Wednesday took to major streets of the Coal City before attacking residence of the Catholic bishop at Igboeze Street, Independence Layout, Enugu.

The angry protesters who demanded for the immediate release of their charismatic leader (Mbaka) also vandalized parts of Holy Ghost Cathedral near Ogbete Main Market, an action described by many as sacrilege to Catholic faith.

Tension was however doused when Mbaka appeared like a Messiah to the waiting hands of his fanatic supporters who had already besieged the Bishop Court, threatening to bring down the house if their leader remained incarcerated by his abductors.

Bishop Onaga was said to have drawn the ire of Mbaka’s supporters for allegedly giving out their leader to the security agents who they accused of detaining him for calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or face impeachment due to his perceived failure to effectively steer the ship of the nation.
Indeed, Mbaka is in eyes of the storm as his unquenchable passion for partisan politics has continued to pitch him against the church, attracting mixed reactions from high and low in the society.

While some, especially the Adoration worshipers, are ready to lay their lives for Mbaka as a result of his courage, truthfulness and sagacity, as well as healing power, others argue that he is a rebel whose actions overtly and covertly had brought Catholic Church to disrepute.

Mbaka may have developed a cult like following because he may have touched the lives of many who now believe in him and are not ready to see any harm done to him. In the manner he has given value to them physical or spiritual he may be seen as another God.

This is the view of an Owerri based journalist who added that in the event that he is sent out of the Catholic fold he may opt to do what he is presently doing privately and still retain and in sympathy may increase his followership. Whatever it may be there is no doubt that the Catholic Church provided him the platform to grow to the height he is now.

It will also not be taken from him that he has added tremendous value to the Catholic Church helping to strengthen its spiritual aspect of God’s work in great magnitude. Who knows how many may have derived their healings or have their domestic issues resolved through the fiery cleric.

Today our country is in a mess, oppressed by the political leadership that seemingly is holding everybody under its jackboot. People can no longer breathe fresh air and many have been compromised into silence including the so called men of God. Today, we have lost so many voices of the likes of Gani Fawehnmi, Tai Solarin, Chima Ubani and other strong advocates of social justice.

There is no doubt that when good men keep quiet evil festers. This is the situation at present. The work of a priest is similar to that of intervening to save people and salvage a bad situation. Mbaka like his fiery colleague, Hassan Kukah is still among the few clerics speaking the mind of people. They may not be heeded to but it is on record that they are speaking truth to power

If spiritual fathers cannot intervene on behalf of their flocks they may not be good representatives of God for it is not different from what Christ did on earth during one of such examples he chased away men who turned his father’s house according to scripture into a den of robbers.

Father Mbaka is not doing anything less for calling for the impeachment or resignation of Buhari. He is never the first person to canvass it. National Assembly members who appear to have woken up are now making a sing song of it. According to Basil Ohakam, a victim of herdsmen attack who lost his crops in Owerri last year, if removing Buhari would stabilize the polity so be it. It is doubtful if those who seek to cow him can successfully do that.

Critics of Mbaka said that he is behaving like a man-boy.
Mr. Emmanuel Nwonye, a Civil Servant in Enugu noted, “A man who recently marked his 25 years anniversary as a priest still does not understand the oath of obedience and utmost respect he swore to and behaves as a newly ordained priest.

According to Nwonye, “He has misled and formed a sort of cult among the many vagabonds of his followers. He should be ashamed to have been the source through which disrespect is bestowed on the Catholic Bishop of Enugu.

“Mbaka deserves to be punished for intentionally painting the church in bad light because of his unreasonable utterances for and against Buhari”, he said. To some, Mbaka is not strange to controversy as they claim that his rebellious act dates back to his early priesthood.

It was gathered that when Mbaka was a Curate at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu, an older priest who observed his obsession for non-catholic books warned him of the danger. Little wonder, critics of Mbaka are quick to say that he may go the way of the likes of Rev. Fr. Anozie of Azumini in Aba Catholic Diocese who refused correction until he was suspended?

These critics also recalled that Rev. Fr. Anozie was persuaded by his irate followers to pull out from Catholic Church, adding that he did and was embraced by the Pentecostals but could not make much impact as he went under until he passed on.

Also fresh in mind, they said, is Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu who abandoned his cassock for politics, noting that the Cleric went ahead to win the Benue gubernatorial election under the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1991.

After two years, General Sani Abacha struck and Adasu came out as an orphan and died shortly. But one Princewill Okereke and other strong supporters of Mbaka think differently, faulting the Enugu bishop for his alleged conspiracy against his priest (Mbaka) so far.

Okereke said that the entire Catholic faithful of Enugu Diocese was shocked for the letter of prayer of atonement and reparation the bishop signed, urging the Catholic faithful to embark on a seven days prayers in reparation and atonement of what he described as heinous crime against a central place of worship and sanctity of the church by the followers of Mbaka.

He noted, “From the records, Enugu State has been badly hit by the dreaded Fulani herdsmen where many innocent Christian farmers are gruesomely slaughtered in their farms and houses with their bloods flowing uncontrollably in the various communities in the State and the Bishop has never spoken to condemn such evil act by the Fulani or declare an emergency prayer meetings against the demons in human forms destroying Christians.

“But regrettably and most unfortunate too, the Bishop felt an old weak chairs or ‘properties’ purportedly displaced by the followers of Fr. Mbaka now amounts to heinous crimes and desecration of the Cathedral, or are they more scared than human life? Indeed wonders shall never end”

He averred, “Diverse views from various quarters are of the opinion that the Bishop is openly acting out a well drafted jihadist script from the presidency even against the entire Igbo and the Christ’s Body which is the church through the Bishop Onaga, which they might be very right in their opinion.

His further words: “This is the time for Christians especially the entire catholic faithful to stand up and say, No to an indirect incitement of the people against Fr. Ejikeme Mbaka by the Bishop of Enugu Diocese for a stitch in time always saves.

“Bishop Onaga and his so called Curia, should quickly realize that God is not stupid when He put this “voice” in Enugu diocese.
“Secondly, they should resist every form of unhealthy pressures that might destabilize the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the diocese and employ the good weapons of fatherly love and conscientization, diplomacy and prayers because like the biblical Gamaliel of Acts. 5., Nobody can stop the work of God or fight the Holy Spirit and survive.

As it is, will the church going to tame or encourage Mbaka who believes that he is gifted with the power of clairvoyance? The question will be appropriately answered with time.

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