By Francis Igata
ENUGU—The south-east geopolitical zone of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, expressed displeasure over the traditional routine transfer of fiery Enugu-based Catholic priest,Fr. Ejike Mbaka, alleging that unseen hands acted on Bishop Callistus Onaga’s discretion that culminated in the decision.
Fr. Mbaka was affected in the routine transfer of over 1,000 priests in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu with effect from January 30, which saw him leave Christ the King,CKP, GRA, where he had been the Parish Priest for over a decade to Our Lady Parish Emene.
The cleric had in nostalgic remark while leaving the CKP premises for Our Lady Parish Emene, last Saturday lamented that,”this is a calculated move to make me suffer by a certain leader of the church. I know we are going to suffer within now and few months to come. I am going to suffer and suffer; I know that. I’m going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the Adoration ministry’s assets. I know I’m going to suffer.”
While reacting to Fr. Mbaka’s predicament, spokesperson, South-East APC Caucus, Osita Okechukwu said:”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 transfer as Mbaka’s case suggests. Otherwise, future liberation clergy who speak the truth will be punished to the detriment of the society.
“Our major concern is the security implications and the fate of his flocks who are mostly the down trodden who may find it difficult to go to Emene for salvation and healing. We frown at anything which will put Fr. Mbaka in harms way or deny his flocks healing.
“As a party, we have watched with concern and trepidation the criticism, the attack, assault and unpleasant comments hurled against 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, doubts still persists. For we are still at a loss why a senior priest will be degraded 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. We had thought that His Lordship Bishop Calistus Onaga could have retained him at the Adoration Ground, as the Bishop Emeritus Gbuji did because of security of his life and easy access by his flocks”.