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Nigerian priest thought missing resurfaces after followers storm episcopal residence

Fr. Ejike Mbaka Fr. Ejike Mbaka

A priest of the Diocese of Enugu who founded Adoration Ministry resurfaced Wednesday, hours after his followers stormed the episcopal residence demanding to know the priest’s whereabouts.

The followers of Fr. Ejike Mbaka caused destruction of property at the local bishop’s residence May 5.

Fr. Benjamin Achi, communications director of the Enugu diocese, described the alleged disappearance of Fr. Mbaka as “misinformation” in an interview with ACI Africa.

“He has resurfaced at 2:40 p.m. after a mob attacked the bishop's house this morning destroying lots and lots of things,” Fr. Achi said in reference to Fr. Mbaka.

The protesters claimed that Bishop Callistus Onaga of Enugu had invited Fr. Mbaka for a meeting on May 2 and since then, Fr. Mbaka had not been seen. 

Last week, Fr. Mbaka had reportedly called on Nigeria’s Members of Parliament to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari should he fail to resign over increasing insecurity in Nigeria. 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Fr. Mbaka arrived at the residence of the Bishop of Enugu May 5 “in a motorcade amidst jubilation from his Adoration faithful.”

“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 reported.

In the May 5 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Achi said that Fr. Mbaka was “not missing.”

“It's a misinformation by the members of his Adoration Ministry,” Fr. Achi said, adding that while it cannot be confirmed that Bishop Onaga had actually invited Fr. Mbaka for a meeting, “if the Bishop invited him, it must (have been) something private and was not supposed to be made public.”

Fr. Mbaka has since sought to defend his ministry, saying he is an instrument of God engaged in charity.

"I have no problem with the Church, I don't have any problem with the Catholic Church nor with any Church. Am just a servant of God. Am just an instrument of God. Nobody will stop me from doing the charity am doing," Fr. Mbaka said in a video recording published on Facebook May 5.

Last year, the priest was faulted for engaging in partisan politics after he was found expressing explicit support for one candidate in the gubernatorial elections of Imo State.

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