Members of the Adoration worshipers in the Diaspora have reacted to the controversies generated by the political comments made by Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria.
The group faulted the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), which distanced itself from Mbaka’s statements over the 2019 elections.
Reverend Father Mbaka had on Sunday at his adoration ground, Enugu, warned that the Atiku campaign project may fail if he failed to come to Enugu to confer with him.
In a video of the programme, which is trending on the internet, Mbaka was seen urging Obi to make a donation to the church as according to him, it was deceit for Obi to come to his church and fail to part with any money.
Reacting, the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the diocese was not in support of Mbaka’s comments and that it was wrong for any priest to make political statements.
But, the group in a joint statement issued on Friday, which was co-signed by two of their leaders, Sir Nelson Onyema and Stella Okpanku, said the CBCN was giving unnecessary attention to the issue.
Onyema claimed that “the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Kukah few months ago took Atiku Abubakar to Olusegun Obasanjo for a political reconciliation and endorsement to pave the way for his emergence as the PDP presidential flag bearer.
“Bishop Kukah is the Chief campaigner of Atiku; the CBCN has been silent on this and issued no statement on it. The same Bishop Kukah who is co-chairing the National Peace Committee with former Head of State, Abudulsalam Abubakar and others were seen few days ago playing some political roles geared towards reaching a Memorandum of Understanding for all political parties in Nigeria, the CBCN did not issue any statement on this.
“Sometime ago, the Bishop of Onitsha ArchDiocese celebrated a public mass of commendation and endorsement for Goodluck Jonathan, what sanction did the church give to him? If the CBCN should be fair on this, they should start to address the issue from amongst them. I am sensing that jealousy and envy may have infiltrated the Catholic Church in Nigeria and have expected the CBCN to guard its utterances jealously.
“It will be a shame for Catholic Church in Nigeria if the Bishops should continue to allow political sentiments and double standards to characterize their actions. I am sure that if this issue were to be between an ordinary citizen and his priest, the CBCN would have been silent on it. For the CBCN to make a statement on this issue just because it involves Obi as PDP Vice Presidential aspirant conveys their tacit support for Atiku and Obi and I can’t help asking when has the Catholic Church become Atiku/Obi campaign organization?”
Okpanku said, “it was Fr. Mbaka that has compelled the whole Nigeria to know the power of the Eucharist and transformed the pattern of worship in the church to the Adoration of the Eucharist after his Ordination in 1995.
“Through this, he exposed the secret miraculous power of the Eucharist to both the Catholics and non Catholics such that today in almost all the parishes in Nigeria, Adoration of the Eucharist has become a popular worship pattern with the attendant miracles. The CBCN has never issued a statement in commendation of Fr Mbaka over this.”
“Nigerians should rather be grateful to God who imbued Fr Mbaka with the courageous gift to speak truth to power.
“Fr Mbaka remains a bridge between the poor citizens of this country and the Leaders that are meant to use the nation’s wealth to look after them.
“Fr Mbaka has no need for begging Buhari, Peter Obi or any one that came for the bazaar for money for any personal need. Fr Mbaka is a selfless industrialist that has demonstrated his vow of poverty by using all his wealth for the poor. Donations made to his ministry is donation to the uncountable poor masses who depend on his charity for their survival, education and welfare and regretted that it is unfortunate some of the wailers today are the same poor masses for whose sake he is being persecuted.”