The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has suspended Ejike Mbaka from church activities for one month as the controversial priest’s political escapades continue to overshadow his theological obligations on a scale that nurtures unending concerns amongst his senior clerics.
Father Mbaka was asked to proceed on suspension with effect from May 3 after being summoned by Callistus Valentine Onaga, the diocesan bishop. Onaga called Mbaka in following his repeated clashes with President Muhammadu Buhari and warned that his conduct was smearing the image of the church, the largest of any Christian organization worldwide.
Mbaka sparred with Buhari’s aides in a series of verbal fireworks that included the Nigerian presidency threatening to blackmail the priest as a political jobber and public contract racketeer. Mbaka denied the allegations.
Bishop Onaga and other senior reverend fathers of the Enugu Diocese were compelled to step in and mitigate the unfolding public perception tumult that could have far-reaching consequences for the conventional but unofficial church and state relationship.
The church leaders recognised that Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry as an independent congregation that does not fall directly under the main church’s control, he could still be reined in as a priest under the Roman Catholic’s certification, officials said.