Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka of Adoration Ministry said he had just escaped assassination, but a catholic group said he stage-managed it to curry public sympathy in the wake of public bashing over his latest outburst against some political leaders.
Mbaka: It is politically motivated
Mbaka’s spokesman, Maximus Ugwuoke, said the incident took place on Thursday. Meanwhile, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who was a beneficiary of Mbaka’s blessings last Sunday, has called for investigation of the allegation. The alleged assassination attempt came on the heels of the backlash against the Catholic priest following his statement that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Mr Peter Obi, will end in disgrace after Obi failed to donate to his church during a visit last week.
In a statement, five officials of Adoration Ministry said other alleged attempts on the priest’s life in 2002 and 2015 were also politically motivated.
“This assassination plot against Fr. Mbaka is coming barely few days after the 2018 Harvest and Bazaar of the Ministry whereat Fr. Mbaka had come under massive media attack for asking Peter Obi, the PDP Vice Presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections who attended the Bazaar programme, to make public his support or donation for the Church Project of the Ministry. “Many supporters of Peter Obi and even clergies have misconstrued this as embarrassing to Peter Obi and to the Catholic Church and this has consequently given rise to the statement issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) that same Thursday on the issue.
“The issue had lingered in spite of the apology which Fr. Mbaka in his characteristic humility had tendered at the altar to Peter Obi and anyone who may have, in any way, form or shape been offended at the Bazaar event.”
Catholic group: Resign if you are tired
In a statement released on Sunday and signed on behalf of Concerned Catholics by Chief Jude Ndukwe and Rita Maduabuchi, the Group said: “We of the Concerned Catholics have watched with utter shame and dismay the antics of Fr Camillus Ejike Mbaka of Enugu Diocese, the latest being the execution of an assassination attempt on himself which we have every reasonable cause to believe he planned against himself only for him to turn around to claim in a statement released by his Ministry that the phantom attempt “may have either been politically engineered or ecumenically endorsed”, meaning that the Catholic Church might have had a hand in it.
“We wish to state categorically clear that this fairy tale of assassination attempts on Fr Mbaka has since become a charming strategy for holding his followers hypnotized as it makes them see him as a super human whose biddings they must do irrespective of its correctness or otherwise. The truth is that, history has shown that Fr Mbaka falls back on this story every time he loses enormous goodwill among his followers and Catholics in particular and Nigerians in general. It is a strategy he employs to curry public sympathy and presidential favours after openly lamenting at that same occasion that the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari abandoned him.
“Let us state unequivocally that Fr Mbaka’s unleashing of his Ministry against the Catholic Church in attempt to blackmail, cajole, and or stampede Her into doing his distractive biddings will fail just as others before him who took similar paths in the past have found out today. No priest of the Catholic Church, no matter how powerful, influential, highly placed or divinely empowered, can ride roughshod on the Church without losing his salt shortly after.
“If he is tired of being a priest and upholding his oaths on the day of his ordination, he should resign honourably and run his Ministry independent of the Catholic Church, and let’s see how far that takes him.
“The truth is that no matter how great a priest of the Catholic Church grows, he can never be bigger than his cassock. We therefore call on relevant security agencies to meticulously investigate this latest claim of assassination attempt by Mbaka on himself with a view to unraveling this shenanigan and put this matter to rest once and for all. We cannot continue to suffer ignominy as Catholics just because of the excesses of one man who thinks he is now bigger than the Church. And if his Ministry think they can ride roughshod over the Catholic Church in Nigeria because of the conservative way the Church operates and its historical perseverance in the face of extreme provocations by one of Her own, then the Ministry will have us as Concerned Catholics to contend with.
“We will not sit down and fold our arms while some misled and misguided brethren continue to scurrilously bring the Church to infamy. Enough is enough!”