The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN Monday asked Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Callistus Onaga to caution Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, whose recent comments on the forthcoming 2015 general elections have continued to generate mixed reactions.
Mbaka had in his New Year message slammed President Goodluck Jonathan, urging him to quietly resign from office.
The CSN said Mbaka’s comments concerning the President and the forthcoming general elections were his personal opinion and not that of the Catholic Church.
Secretary-General of CSN, Rev Fr. Ralph Madu, in an interview with a national newspaper in Abuja said that there were better ways for Mbaka to pass his message across “considering the explosive nature of this country.”
Madu said: “With the way the Catholic Church operates, he (Mbaka) belongs to a Diocese and it is the responsibility of his Bishop to draw his attention to that; the name of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese is Bishop Callistus Onaga. The Bishop of Enugu Diocese should draw his attention to it; the (Catholic) Church doesn’t ignore such excesses because there is a procedure. If I get a vision to go and kill somebody, will I go and kill? That is what I am telling you, that people like him (Mbaka) have many followers and all over the world, they are the same. When they claim that the spirit is telling them something, who are you to question the spirit? But if the Holy Spirit is telling you something, you must say it in a manner that will forestall confusion and trouble. That is how things are done, it is not the Catholic Church that is speaking; it is just an individual, just one priest. I think if it is taken that way, it will be properly understood.”
He added, “Fr. Mbaka is a popular guy and not like the rest of us and what makes him popular are these prophecies and that is why people are following them. So, I think his Bishop can draw his attention to it.’’
Asked what the Catholic Church says about visions and prophecies and whether the priest has not been deviating from the Catholic dogma, the CSN scribe said there were better ways of passing across such messages.
In November 2014, during the annual thanksgiving and bazaar organised by his church, which had many dignitaries, including the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, in attendance, Mbaka had reportedly said the President had “done well” and deserved another term in office.
He had said Jonathan could have accomplished more if not for “distractions,” adding that “campaigners have no reason asking the President to return the (Chibok) girls home since Mr. Jonathan was not keeping them. Jonathan is not a kidnapper.”