By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu
Followers of controversial Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka on Sunday took to the streets of Umuchigbo in Enugu metropolis to protest the ban on the Adoration Ministry Enugu headed by the priest.
The Bishop of Enugu Catholic Diocese, Most. Rev. Callistus Onaga on Saturday banned all priests and Catholic faithful from attending Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry following the priest’s scathing remarks on Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Mbaka on Wednesday at his Adoration grounds said Obi would never be the President because he is a stingy man, adding the politician is cursed.
The priest’s remarks drew heavy criticisms from various quarters, prompting the under fire priest to backtrack and apologise for maligning Obi and injuring his supporters.
Despite that Bishop Onaga prohibited the Catholic faithful from attending his Adoration until the due canonical process initiated by the Diocese is concluded.
Bishop Onaga explained the decision was based on the fact that some of the teachings and utterances of Fr Mbaka at the Catholic Adoration Ministry were not consistent with the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church
However, less than 24 hours after the ban on Mbaka’s Adoration, his followers gathered on Sunday morning at the Adoration ground and started a massive protest against Bishop Onaga.
The protesters, who chanted song condemned the Bishop with unprintable names.
They queried his authority for clamping down on the Mbaka’s Ministry.
One of them said: “Our Spiritual Director has done nothing wrong. He is a man of God and talks as the spirit leads him. So, Bishop Onaga cannot just wake up and ban the ministry. They are trying to dictate to him what to say and what not to say.”
The angry protesters also attacked journalists and anyone who dared to take pictures of the protest.
As of the time of filing this report the protest was on going within the Adoration ground.
It was observed that BBC Igbo journalist who was covering the protest live was forcefully stopped by members of the ministry.
An officiating priest at the Holy Ghost Cathedral of Enugu Catholic Diocese on Sunday, Rev. Fr. Michael Ogbuh, has told Mbaka’s followers they are the greatest enemy of their Spiritual Director.
In a veiled reference to Mbaka, Fr. Ogbuh, who was speaking during his homily about the Holy Eucharist, said it was the same people who praised Mbaka to high heavens that make him feel like a small god.
“Exactly a year ago, some of you led a protest to destroy this cathedral. That is what makes him feel like a small god and refusing to stick to his vow of obedience.
“You have to focus your attention on Jesus Christ who we are celebrating today in the Eucharist,” he said.