The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev Father Ejike Mbaka has said the leadership of the Catholic diocese in his state wanted to close his ministry for one month.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) had in a statement on Wednesday raised an alarm saying the whereabouts of the priest were unknown.
The cleric’s supporters and members of his Adoration Ministry in Enugu also took to the streets to protest against his alleged disappearance.
Mbaka had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be impeached last week.
However, he was attacked by the Presidency, which alleged that the cleric was angry because he sought to secure contracts from the Buhari-led government and was denied.
Speaking while addressing worshippers at the adoration ground in Enugu on Wednesday after resurfacing, Mbaka said the church leadership, led by Bishop Calistus Onaga, summoned him over his recent comments concerning Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and his connection to the presidency.
He said the church leadership told him he would remain indoors for a period of one month to enable him pray and meditate over his activities.
The cleric further claimed that even though he refused to accept the demand, he was only released because of the protest over his whereabouts.
He added that he asked for an opportunity to address his parishioners but was not allowed.
Mbaka said, “How can they believe what others say, and they will not believe what the priest is saying? The emphasis is ‘please, let me go to celebrate the mass’, but they said ‘no’. If a priest will request to celebrate mass and they say ‘no’, that means something is wrong.
“Allow me to celebrate mass for my people just for today, I won’t even tell them that I am being punished, they said, no. I will just tell my members that I’m going for 30 days’ prayer, that after 30 days, we will come back and everybody will obey, they said, no.
“I also begged them to appoint another priest to come and celebrate mass for you today, they also said no.
“They didn’t treat me in a pastoral way. I was asking ‘am I being punished for what’?
“They said it was a meeting, but even before I reached the Bishop’s house, conclusion has already been made. What happened to me was like the day I was shot on the road.
“Unfortunately for them, even before the meeting, a woman was already going around bragging that the Bishop will call me for a meeting, and that I was going to leave my house here for 30 days, and that after the 30 days, I would be sent to Rome, and Adoration ministry will be closed.
“In a time and cases like this, don’t give me a punishment that will cause troubles for us because I’m not alone.”