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Enugu: Confusion as Fr. Mbaka disappears, reappears

Confusion, yesterday, trailed the alleged arrest of the Spiritual Director of Catholic Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka. However, Mbaka reappeared several hours later after his followers had staged a mass protest, destroying the fence and smashing windows and doors at the Bishop’s Court, the official residence of the Enugu Catholic Bishop, Most Rev. Calistus Onaga at Igboeze street, Independence Layout Enugu. Although the development was still sketchy as at press time, unconfirmed reports had it that the fiery Catholic priest was earlier whisked away by unidentified security personnel at the official quarters of Bishop Onaga. Mbaka was said to have visited Bishop Onaga on invitation.

It was when the rumour of his arrest by security personnel filtered out that his supporters mobilized and stormed the Bishop’s Court, damaging parts of the property. The situation was, however, brought under control when Fr. Mbaka reappeared from nowhere. He drove in a motorcade to his Adoration Ground, where it was said that he would address the press later.

Police are yet to react or respond to calls or text messages over the incident. The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe did not respond to calls put across to him. The Catholic Diocese is also yet to issue any official statement on the matter. The Director of Catholic Communication in the state, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi did not pick his calls nor respond to messages. Unconfirmed sources indicated that the arrest was made by men of the Department of State Services (DSS), but they had since denied involvement in the matter.

Fr. Mbaka and the Federal Government had been exchanging diatribe in recent time, following the clergyman’s criticism of the latter’s poor handling of the worsening insecurity in the country. He, last week, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be impeached. The Special Adviser to the president on Media, Garba Shehu replied Fr. Mbakam alleging that Mbaka’s criticism followed the inability of the Federal Government to give a contract to some people he brought.

Mbaka had to reply again, describing Shehu’s allegation as laughable and explained that he only brought security experts to help the Federal Government fix the security challenge facing the country and not to ask for personal favour. Meanwhile, prior to Fr. Mbaka’s reappearance,Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) had issued an alert regarding the whereabouts of the Catholic priest. A statement by the President- General of the OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said attempts to locate him had failed. “We have it on good authority that his aides have neither seen nor heard from him since Tuesday. “Calls put to his mobile line have also remained unanswered; this has now prompted us to issue this alarm as we would not take it lightly should anything untoward happen to him.

“We are giving the Federal Government 48 hours to produce the priest, else they should be ready to face Igbo youths. They were dining and wining with him all along and now that he told the truth, they are no longer comfortable with him”. The drama and confusion has continued as the people await the official response from the relevant bodies as well as Fr. Mbaka.


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