‘Stingy Man’: Why Mbaka Supporters Protest, Demand Bishop’s Removal

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Father Mbaka EjikeSupporters of the Spiritual Head of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Ejike Mbaka, embarked on a protest against the closure of the ministry. The protesters, who are worshippers at the Adoration Ministry, demanded the removal of the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Callistus Onaga, for prohibiting Catholics from participating in any activity of the ministry be it religious or liturgical.  The worshipers, numbering over a thousand, stormed the Adoration ground with placards and leaves, chanting songs against the bishop for the closure of the Ministry, saying the decision was too harsh.

The Mbaka supporters, who threatened to take the ongoing protest to the premises of the bishop at the Independent Layout, Enugu, were, however, prevented from doing so as security operatives rose to the occasion to ensure they did not protest beyond the Adoration ground. Some of the protesters, who were seen chanting: “No more Onaga,” were also violent as they stopped people, including newsmen from taking pictures or videos of what was happening.

Onaga had, last Saturday, following the alleged unguided utterances of Mbaka on Peter Obi and political affairs in the country, issued a statement where he said: “In the light of the happenings in the Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy, Enugu; capable of undermining the Catholic faith and teachings; and after several fraternal corrections and admonitions to Mbaka, the chaplain of the ministry: and after having given him pastoral directives and guidelines for the ministry chaplaincy, which he persistently violated: and in fulfilment of my pastoral duties as the chief shepherd with the obligation to promote and safeguard the Catholic faith and morals in Enugu Diocese, I hereby prohibit all Catholics (clergy, religious and lay faithful), henceforth, from attending all religious and liturgical activities of the Catholic Adoration Ministry until the due canonical process initiated by the diocese is concluded.”

The Adoration Ministry, in a message to all its members as a reaction to the bishop’s statement, said: “There will be no programme starting yesterday, at Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria Amen, Umuchigbo Emene, Enugu State.

“Sunday Mass, Wednesday (E No Dey) and night programmes will not hold till further notice.”

One of the protesters, who spoke to newsmen said: “We don’t think the bishop should have closed down the church over a comment made by our father and spiritual leader.

“Mbaka has done nothing wrong. What he ever said was his personal opinion and not that of the church so, I wonder why the bishop should take such action against the church. Besides, he (Mbaka) has apologised.”

Another one said: “The bishop’s action will not affect Mbaka in any way. We are the ones being affected here. We’re the ones suffering from this.

“He (Mbaka) has been more than a father to us. They will not commend him for the good he is doing but will rather find fault in what he says.”

Meanwhile, there was a heavy presence of security operatives at the bishop’s house and at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu as of press time yesterday, apparently to avert a repeat of the Adoration worshipper’s violent action that left some destructions last time Mbaka was quizzed by the security operatives.

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