From CHUKS EZE, Enugu
Fr Ejike Mbaka, the founder of Adoration Ministries, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), has tendered an “unreserved apology” to the Catholic Church and Bishop Callistus Onaga over the violent protest that greeted news of his sudden disappearance last Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
Mbaka, who is the Spiritual Director of the ministry also appreciated AMEN members and well-wishers for trooping out inmerse that fateful day in search of him, adding that he was humbled by their immense show of solidarity.
He said: “Wherever you have done good, may the Lord bless you and where you did not do good, may the Lord forgive us; may the Mother church forgive us”.
The vocal priest, who knelt before the altar and a crowd of worshippers midway into his Sunday Mass ministration, begged the church and Bishop Onaga to “forgive and let go”, pointing out that he neither entered the Bishop’s house that faithful day nor sent anyone to go and destroy things.
He also clarified that he was never kidnapped but that he was ordered by Bishop Onaga to proceed on instant prayer isolation, adding that the directive was sudden and that he had to obey outrightly.
Mbaka also said that he learnt that the protest was highjacked after it attracted so much media hype as nobody could tell about his whereabouts.
“Fr Mbaka has no problem with the. Church and I do not have any problem with my bishop.
“Enemies want to achieve that ( such discord), but I will not allow it because, there is something in me that will conquer such problems – humility obedience, to the glory of God.
“I am taking my time to explain things because there were a lot of miss information and the devil entered into the story,” the fiery priest noted:
Continuing, he added, “I tender my unreserved, unalloyed apologies.I do not want to tell negative stories about what happened because the incident now belongs to the past.
“I am here, kneeling on your behalf to render my sincere, unalloyed apologies to the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic church, where I belong. May the Mother church forgive us in any way we did not do it well or where I didn’t say it well. I pray for forgiveness.
“I am kneeling and praying on your behalf and asking the church to forgive; that what has happened has happened and we have to save the image of the church and the face of the church as well as the souls of the children of God.
“We cannot lose any soul because of what has happened. I am here to save souls; the church is not my property rather, I belong to the church.
“I ask my lord bishop, (Rt Rev Dr Callistus) Onaga and all the priests of Enugu diocese for everybody to rest the case.
“We will join in the prayer of reparation.
“I have no problem with anybody and I didn’t send anybody to burn anything.
“I didn’t even know that anything happened. I had gone to where my bishop asked me to go and pray. So, it was a prayer outing and not kidnapping.
“Our job is to protect the church and not to destroy the church that we protect.
“I am happy for the Mother church and I remain a priest of the Catholic Church. I cannot leave you people to go anywhere else.
“We shall all go to the bishop at a later date and… because, in African culture, if a parent beats a child, the child may be so right, yet after receiving the beating, he still apologizes to the parent.
“I am grateful that nobody died.
“I do not disobey the church, who am I? How can someone who has been serving the church for nearly 26 years come out and begin to fight the same church? Everything in my life is for the church.
“I didn’t clap for anybody for destroying anything.
“Again, I praise you people (supporters) for protecting the sanctissimus; the Blessed Sacrament was not tampered with. And God will bless you because I heard how the ‘Search for Fr Mbaka’ was high-jacked.
“I heard that some people joined up and started breaking things, and that people of various tribes, Christians and non-Christians as well as Catholics and non-Catholics joined in the search.
While buttressing the claim that the protest was high-jacked, Mbaka noted that, “I was told that at Bishop’s Court, someone brought a gallon of petrol and poured emptied upon himself after pouring the content around the bishop’s house.
“It was when he bought out a lighter to ignite himself that some AMEN people stopped him and best him up, asking if he was trying to Fr Mbaka in trouble.
“Wasn’t that a suicide bomber?
“I was also told that some people entered the Holy Ghost cathedral through the gate attempting to break the grotto but that Adorers again blocked the grotto, just as they protected the sanctuary when some people entered the cathedral.
“So, wherever you have done good, may the Lord bless you and where you didn’t do good, may the Lord forgive us. May the Mother Church forgive us.
“I tender my unreserved, unalloyed apologies”.