Enugu, May 5, 2021
The fiery Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, who was allegedly declared missing on Wednesday, suddenly reappeared few hours after his supporters embarked on protests across the Enugu state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the priest arrived at the Catholic Bishop’s Residence in a motorcade amidst jubilation from his Adoration faithful around 2.45 pm.
He, however, stopped in front of the Bishop’s Court and addressed his supporters urging them to remain calm and return to the Adoration ground for further information.
NAN reports that irate youths on Wednesday vandalised the official residence of the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, in protest of alleged arrest of Mbaka.
NAN reports that the irate youths suspected to be members of the Adoration Ministry and numbering over 1,000 stormed the residence of the Bishop located at Igboeze Street, Independence Layout.
The protesters accused the bishop of masterminding the alleged arrest of the priest by unidentified security personnel.
Some of the protesters told NAN that Mbaka was allegedly arrested over his recent comments against the presidency.
One of the protesters told NAN anonymously that they wanted the Bishop to clarify the whereabouts of Mbaka.
The protesters, who were chanting anti Bishop Onaga songs had asked him to resign.
They alleged that Onaga invited Mbaka on Sunday for a meeting where he handed him over to the security officers.
Mrs Stella Nduka alleged that the man of God was invited for a meeting three days ago by his bishop and since then no one had seen him.
“We are going to Bishop Court at Independence Layout to demand his immediate release from his eminence.
“He will explain to us where he kept him since Sunday and he cannot betray our daddy (Mbaka); he cannot be used to arrest him,” she said.
Another member of the ministry, Kenneth Uzoma complained that the members waited for the priest to hold its service early hours of Wednesday but he did not show up.
“This raised questions and suspicions that his rumored missing was true.
“We waited and he did not show up, so we decided to protest at the bishop’s court to demand for his release.
“We were told that his phone numbers were ringing without answering.
“We are angry over everything and will not go until they release him to us,” he said.
NAN had reported also that adoration members were protesting at different parts of the state demanding his release.
There were heavy presence of military men at the bishop’s court trying to curtail the mammoth crowd that besieged the court to ensure that lives and property were not lost.
Efforts to reach the Director, Communication, Catholic Diocese, Enugu, Rev. Fr Benjamin Achi and the Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe failed as they refused to pick their calls till Mbaka’s dramatic reappearance.
The cleric is the founder and director of the popular Adoration Ministries, Enugu and Parish Priest, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Emene.