From Maurice Okafor,Enugu.
Against speculations that the Enugu fiery Catholic Priest and Founder/Spiritual director of Adoration ministries, Enugu,Rev.Father Ejike Mbaka, was detained by security agents, Rev.Mbaka immediately after he regained his freedom yesterday evening, told his parishioners that he was held hostage by the Enugu Catholic Church leaders.
Mbaka who was declared missing by his parishioners for failing to preside over adoration prayers on Tuesday night which spilled over to Wednesday,May 6 morning, without any details of his whereabout,was released aftermath of an organized protest by his parishioners, who stormed the Enugu Catholic Bishop's house,Most Rev.Callistus Onaga residence at Independence layout,Enugu.
The protest which heightened tension in Enugu metropolis forced motorists to put green leaves in front of their vehicles, while meandering through traffic gridlock caused by the protest. Addressing his parishioners at the Adoration ground in Umuchigbo Nike Enugu, on the ordeals he passed through, Mbaka said he was invited by Bishop Onaga for a meeting but incidentally was kept incommunicado and it was planned he(Mbaka) would be kept in isolation for 30 days. According to Mbaka,the issues the church leaders have against him was the fact that he blessed Nnamdi KANU,leader of Indigenous People of Biafra,(IPOP).Also his recent critisms of President Buhari's style of administration. He said Bishop Calistus Onaga told him that he would remain indoors for one month, a period that would allow him pray and meditate over his activities.Mbaka said he pleaded to be granted opportunity to go and celebrate mass for his parishioners but it was bluntly refused. Mbaka said his suggestion to go and close down the adoration ministry for the 30 days on the pretext that he is going for prayers or to appoint another priest to take over from him,was also rejected. The fiery priest disclosed that it was when the pressure fmounted by his parishioners for his release was over bearing on the Bishop that he allowed him to go. Mbaka stated,"I requested to be allowed the opportunity to come and address his parishioners after which he would shut down, “but they said No. Allow me to and celebrate mass for my people just for today, I won’t even tell them that I am being punished, they said, No. I will just tell my members that I’m going for 30 days prayer, that after 30 days, we will come back and everybody will obey, they said, No". “I also begged them to appoint another priest to come and celebrate mass for you today, they also said No. “They didn’t treat me in a pastoral way. I was asking ‘am I being punished for what’? “They said it was a meeting, but even before I reached the Bishop’s house, conclusion has already been made. What happened to me was like the day I was shot on the road. Mbaka cautioned that “in a time and cases like this, don’t give me a punishment that will cause troubles for us because I’m not alone.” “Are you the owner of my mouth? You can’t tell me who to bless? If you are not happy that I blessed someone, you have your own mouth, you can curse the person. “I cannot hate my brother because of some people who hatred is in their genes,” he declared.