I Hold Nothing Against Mbaka, Obi Reacts To Demeaning Comments By Cleric

TNC Reporter

TNC Reporter

As the crises resulting from a recent outburst by an Enugu-based Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka continue to rage, the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi on Monday made it clear that he holds nothing against the priest.

Last week, Fr Mbaka, who is the founder of Adoration Ministries, Enugu, while addressing his congregation at a program in his ministry at Enugu, said Nigerians will not vote Obi in the Presidential election because he was stingy but later apologized for the utterance.

The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Reverend Calistus Onaga, had imposed a ban on Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry over the outburst.

The bishop in a letter he personally signed and addressed to all the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, banned them from having anything to do with the Adoration Ministry.

The letter read; “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.”

Bishop Onaga enjoined all Christian faithful to keep praying for Fr. Mbaka.

Meanwhile, the development had triggered protests against the prelate on Sunday, with the Ministry’s adherents calling for the sack of the bishop.

But in a chat with newsmen on Monday, the former Anambra Governor, Mr Obi said he takes Mbaka as a priest and simply sees whatever negative thing he says as something to pray about.

Obi insisted that he has nothing against the cleric and remains loyal to the Roman Catholic faith.

“Father Mbaka is an ordained priest of God and as priest, I will show my respect and allegiance to the church.

“Whatever he says, I take it as a point to pray about, whether good or bad.

“I don’t have any problems with him.

“If he says I won’t win then it is a reason to pray to God that He changes the hearts of those who want to collect money to vote, to see reasons why they should not do so.

“I travelled when that happened. If I was around, I would have told him immediately to assist me pray about the prophesy,” Obi said.

On the allegation that he is stingy, Obi said he is only allergic to misappropriation of funds and would commit resources to any meaningful venture not frivolities.

“I have given away money more than all these people who are claiming to be generous.

“The problem I have is that I have allergy for spending money wrongly and everyone knows.

“Since I left office in 2014, I have visited over 200 schools across the country, spending money on equipping their laboratories and buildings and the records are there to see.

“So if that is what they call stinginess-spending money for what they are meant for, then I agree with them,” he said.

The Labour Party Presidential Candidate insisted that Nigeria at this time needs radical politicians who will commit to transforming the fortunes of the country and not repeating the same thing previous leaders have done without result.

Meanwhile, the Enugu-based Catholic priest and Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has distanced himself from Sunday’s protests by his followers at the Adoration ground.

In a statement today, the cleric claimed he never knew about the protest and did not authorise it, explaining that rather, he received in obedience the ban on his Adoration ministry and had since shut the ministry till further notice.

Mbaka asked his members who had resorted to attacking or insulting the Bishop, to desist from it, stating that the Bishop is the shepherd of the church in the Diocese and must be respected.

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