The Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Callistus Valentine Onaga, has issued a directive barring all Catholics from “attending all religious and liturgical activities” of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka’s Catholic Adoration Ministry.
The directive from the Bishop of Enugu is coming on the heels of Mbaka’s outburst against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and one-time governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi.
The priest had declared that Obi, who he described as “a stingy man”, would never rule Nigeria; a declaration that did not go down well with many Nigerians who demanded that appropriate sanctions should be meted on Mbaka.
In a letter he personally signed by Onaga, and addressed to ‘All the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’, the Bishop 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 Fr. Camillus Ejike 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.
“My decision is based on the fact that some of the teachings and utterances of Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka at the Catholic Adoration Ministry are not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church,” added Bishop Onaga who enjoined “all Christian faithful to keep praying for Fr. Mbaka.”
Mbaka had declared that the LP presidential candidate, Obi, can never become Nigeria’s president.
Mbaka, who made the declaration at his Adoration Ministry ground in Enugu, said unless God ceases to exist, Obi would never lead Africa’s most populous nation as it better to have an old man as president than a ‘stingy young man’.
“A stingy man that cannot give people his money, with this hunger ravaging the land, and you are saying he is the one you want; you want to die of hunger? Are you people insane? Where is the Holy Spirit?
“It is now that [PDP candidate Abubakar] Atiku is seriously contesting for president; now that he is contesting without Peter Obi; it is now that he is serious. We want somebody that is serious. Unless Peter comes here to kneel, if he becomes president, he will close down this ministry. What we are doing is spiritual,” said Mbaka.
“Listen, a good old man is better than a young wicked man. Peter Obi is going nowhere as far as God lives. If Igbos want a representative, it is not someone like Peter Obi.
“I should not have talked but I saw my video going round everywhere as if Fr. Mbaka wholeheartedly came out and apologized. No, I didn’t apologize wholeheartedly, it was out of duress. I had to obey my Bishop, in obedience I had to; it is not of my volition. I did it because I am a Catholic priest. My Bishop said, ‘do it’, my own is ‘Yes my Lord’.
“I did not say he is a bad man; I said he is a stingy man. A hungry man wants someone that is generous; the man has so much money, but he is ‘I, me, myself’. But that money will not be useful to him. I am very happy now that I have spoken out. That apology is a poisonous curse against Peter Obi.
“If he is wise he should have come here after that apology to say he is sorry but he waited. Anybody supporting him is wasting his money, he is going nowhere.”