… Fiery priest emerges from ‘disappearance,’ enraged
… We never detained him – DSS
ENUGU metropolis was agog with protest yesterday as demonstrators called for the release of controversial Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, whom they alleged was arrested.
Contrary to the rumours that went rife in some quarters that the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka was arrested and incarcerated by men of the Directorate of Security Services (DSS), the man in the eye of the storm, has denied that he was arrested by any security agency.
During a press conference he addressed after his two-day disappearance, Fr. Mbaka said that he was in the custody of Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Calistus Onaga for praying for the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kalu.
The Enugu based Catholic preacher during a press conference at Adoration Ground, Emene, Enugu, after emerging in public, stated that no security agency held him but however asserted that nobody can tell him who he will bless or curse since he is guided by the Holy Spirit only.
However, he said that anybody with intent to gag him has the option of using his own mouth to curse the person.
Speaking further on what led to his disappearance and appearance he said, “I was invited by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Onaga. When I went there, I was told that I will be kept indoors for one month to allow me time to pray and meditate on my activities.
“I asked them to allow me opportunity to go and address my parishioners after which I will shut down and return, they said: “no. I also begged them to allow me to send another priest to go and celebrate Mass for the Parishioners, they also said no. It was when they saw the mass protest that they allowed me to go,” Mbaka explained.
The ovation that followed his return was so overwhelming that the Adoration Ground was filled with people from far and near. There were unprecedented drumming and dancing by parishioners of all ages and sexes.
Recall that Fr. Mbaka had in recent time, had altercation with the federal government following his call for the resignation of President Buhari or be impeached by the National Assembly. The Presidency responded and accused the controversial cleric of turning against the government because of the president’s refusal to give him the contract he sought for when he came with three expatriate contractors to Aso Rock.
While he was missing, there was tension in Enugu metropolis with groups asking for his whereabouts. A group named Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council raised the alarm that the cleric was missing.
Speaking in a press conference in Enugu, President-General of OYC, Okwu Nnabuike said Mbaka was last seen yesterday, but every effort to trace him has failed.
“We have it on good authority that his aides have neither seen nor heard from him since Tuesday. Calls put to his mobile line have also remained unanswered; this has now prompted us to issue this alarm as we would not take it lightly should anything untoward happen to him. We are giving the federal government 48 hours to produce the priest, else they should be ready to face Igbo youths. They were dining and wining with him all along and now that he told the truth, they are no longer comfortable with him. Let nothing happen to Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka. It will not be in anybody’s interest,” the group warned.
The development led to a massive protest in the city of Enugu with members marching to the Bishop’s Court with protesters asking Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Callistus Onaga to produce Fr. Mbaka, who they said had got missing since Monday, after he went to see the bishop.
The youths alleged that Mbaka may have been arrested or abducted by gunmen.
But Department for State Security (DSS) yesterday, said that Enugu based preacher, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka ws not in their custody nor did they at anytime arrest him.
Spokesman of DSS, Peter Afunaya, made the assertion while refuting suspicions by his followers that Mbaka was in DSS custody.
“Rev Fr. Mbaka is not with the DSS. We did not pick him up, please,” Afunaya said.
But there was a protest in front of Catholic Bishop’s Court in Enugu where his supporters gathered.
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