Buzz by Olumide Iyanda
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Is the Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) founded Rev Fr Camillus Ejike Mbaka the religious wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the APC the political wing of AMEN? Anybody who answers yes should be spared a passage through purgatory given what has played out since the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Callistus Onaga, approved what I believe is a long overdue transfer of the Charismatic priest from the Christ the King Parish (CKP), GRA, Enugu to Our Lady Parish, Emene.
What should have been a routine transfer of a priest who vowed obedience, celibacy and poverty on July 29, 1995 took a bizarre twist when the APC alleged that the decision was influenced by forces outside the Church.
Hear the spokesperson of the party in the southeast, Osita Okechukwu: “Whereas we accept that the transfer of priests is a routine exercise of the great Catholic Church, however we do not wholly accept a situation where the church allows external forces to influence transfers as Mbaka’s case suggests. Otherwise, future liberation clergy who speak truth to power will be hamstrung to the detriment of the society.
“Our major concern is the security implications and the fate of his flocks who are mostly the downtrodden who may find it difficult to go to Emene for salvation and healing. We frown at anything which will put Fr. Mbaka in harm’s way or deny his flocks healing.
“As a party, we have watched with concern and trepidation the criticism, attack, assault and unpleasant comments hurled at Fr. Mbaka since he providentially prophesied that President Buhari would win the 2015 elections. Even the Church did not spare him, he was called unprintable names, yet his prophecy came true. We are happy that Fr. Mbaka was vindicated.
“It must be pointed out that accusing fingers were pointed at the direction of some anti-Buhari elements like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a group that didn’t want to hear the name of Buhari – even though Ohanaeze denied the allegation, doubt still persists. For we are still at a loss why a senior priest will be demoted to an assistant parish priest.
“We repeat that we are in solidarity with Fr. Mbaka and our major concern is the security of Fr. Mbaka and the suffering of his flocks, mostly the poor who need his healing powers.”
What insufferable effrontery!
Okechukwu could not even spare an effort to make sense. The only thing he did not do was accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of being responsible for Mbaka’s transfer. Or that Onaga was an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The statement from APC confirmed what many have long feared. Mbaka has compromised his neutrality as a man of the collar. And his claim of complete obedience to the church conflicts with the jeremiad “I am going to suffer because I have no place to put my head.”
AMEN has made Mbaka the most popular Catholic priest presently serving in the Southeast. That is probably why Okechukwu and thousands of adoring fans think the man whose Igbo name incidentally means “not by power” is the one with “healing powers”.
The days ahead will determine if the spiritual director of the Empire of the Holy Spirit is a clergyman pretending to be a politician or a politician pretending to be a clergyman.