The Spiritual Director Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka has defended his Sunday’s outburst against the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Peter Obi, saying that it was scriptural.
Fr. Mbaka who defended himself during his midweek ministration popularly known as ‘E No Dey Programme’ said he is scripturally right and cannot be cowed. He was said to have informed his devotees to keep a date with him on December 31, when his prophecy on the 2019 election will as usual be made public.
According to him, Sunday’s programme was a bazaar programme where people are invited to support church project (done once a year) and there is nothing to hide. While he gave instances with biblical verses to back up his claim, he recalled how Ananias and his wife died in the bible while trying to be tricky with Peter after selling their land.
Fr. Mbaka said what he asked for in a bazaar was to support God’s project not Mbaka’s project. “No project there belongs to me but Catholic Church”, stressing that “when you are led in spirit or anointed, you can talk to both the poor/politicians without fear.”
Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) had in a statement Thursday reminded catholic priests and people of consecrated life, under its watch, of the canon law of the church that bars them from active involvement in partisan politics.
The Catholic Church headquarters in Nigeria reiterated the obligation of its priests as teachers of faith, morals and, most importantly, education of faithful on their role in the political life of the country.
The reaction was, perhaps, necessitated by the recent altercation between Mbaka and the vice presidential candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, at the former’s Adoration Ground in Enugu.
CSN’s Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, told newsmen, at a press conference, in Abuja, Thursday that the Catholic Church was disappointed with the altercation and had asked appropriate authorities to take necessary action.
“While we are sure that Enugu Catholic Diocese, where Fr. Mbaka is incardinated, has or is taking appropriate measures on the reported incident, we wish to categorically reiterate that no Catholic priest is permitted to be involved in partisan politics.
“All liturgical ceremonies must never be used as an occasion for campaigns ahead of 2019 political activities. Catholic church remains apolitical and would never support or subscribe to any political party. Our concern is for peaceful election process, seen to be free, fair, credible and just, and a democratic governance that would herald peace, justice, equity, development and religious freedom for the common good.”
Meanwhile, some concerned Christians under the aegis of ‘Araba zone’ the popular arm that unites the millions of Adoration worshipers in the Diaspora have voiced their concerns on the controversy.
Reacting to the recent statement credited to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on the issue, one of the leaders of the group, Sir Nelson Onyema, faulted the CBCN for giving unnecessary attention to the issue. He argued that the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Kukah few months ago took Atiku Abubakar to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for a political reconciliation and endorsement to pave the way for his emergence as the PDP presidential flag bearer.