Protesters Wednesday forced the Bishop of the Enugu Catholic Diocese, Dr. Callistus Onaga to release the controversial Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka from indoor confinement.
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The Bishop had summoned Fr Mbaka over his blessing of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu Nnamdi Kanu and exchange with the Presidency over the state of insecurity in the country.
The decision had affected Mbaka’s Wednesday adoration forcing parishioners to proceed to the Bishop’s residence on learning that Fr Mbaka was kept indoor and restrained from coming out.
The angry protesters had stormed the residence destroying the perimeter fence and window panes of the house before the Bishop was forced to change his mind.
It was at this stage that the Bishop allowed Fr Mbaka to come and address the protesters.
The protesters were chanting war songs demanding for the release of the detained priest.
On coming out, Fr. Mbaka had himself told the whole story that he was being punished over his blessing of Nnamdi Kanu and exchange of words with the Presidency.
He said he had been ordered to stay indoors for one month by the Church leadership.
Mbaka narrated how his request to be allowed to celebrate mass for that day and then shut down was rejected.
He said, “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 had already been made. What happened to me was like the day I was shot on the road.
“Unfortunately for them, even before the meeting, a woman was already going around bragging that the Bishop will call me for a meeting, and that I was going to leave my house here for 30 days, and that after the 30 days, I would be sent to Rome, and Adoration Ministry will be closed.
“In a time and cases like this, don’t give me a punishment that will cause troubles for us because I’m not alone.”
It would be recalled that many had thought that Mbaka was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) which immediately denied it.
The youth wing of the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide had given the federal government 48 hours to release the priest.
The protesters had immediately on seeing Fr. Mbaka gone into jubilation.