Let me begin by saying that I write this article not as a journalist but as a member of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) and lover and fan of Rev Fr Ejike Camilus Mbaka. In April this year, I marked my 25 years (Silver Jubilee) Anniversary as a member.
Having joined the junior prayer group of CCRN in my hometown in 1997 when I entered JSS1, I grew to becoming the Ministry Leader of the Praise and Worship Ministry and eventually the General Coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in my parish, the Scared Heart Prayer Group Mmaku.
As a former General Coordinator of a Prayer Group which is the highest position any member can aspire to at the parish level, and with over 25 years experience in the race, I think I have attained some spiritual maturity to pen down this piece.
And without beating around the bush, I want to categorically state that the temporary suspension of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (A.M.E.N) by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Dr Callistus Onaga is the best move for both supporters of Peter Obi and those of Fr Mbaka at this point in time.
I say this with all sense of responsibility and respect to our Charismatic brother and priest, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka of which I am one of his ardent supporters and fans. Hence, I want to urge all Catholic Charismatic Renewal members as well as all adorers to be calm and to know that God is in total control of the situation because our brother priest, Fr Mbaka will come out of this stronger and better.
Why do I say the suspension is the best move now? Imagine the kind of heated arguments and backlash Fr Mbaka’s speech against Mr Peter Obi has generated in the social media between Peter Obi supporters and Fr Mbaka’s supporters within 24 hours the video was released online.
Imagine if enemies of Fr Mbaka or enemies of Peter Obi sponsor some angry youths as it’s being rumoured to storm Adoration Ministry and attack its worshipers which could lead to deaths of innocent worshipers and adorers and then blame it on Peter Obi supporters?
With the heated political antagonistic atmosphere in Nigeria now, this is a possibility: political enemies of Peter Obi can sponsor hoodlums to attack Fr Mbaka or his Adoration Ministry and then create real problem for Peter Obi Presidential ambition. And if this happens, the Obi we know may choose to withdraw from the race because he is a core Catholic, and supporters of Fr Mbaka and the entire Catholic Church will be mourning victims of the attack.
So to forestall this possible ugly scenario, suspending adoration for now pending when tensions have calmed is okay by me and I think every right thinking true lover of our brother priest, Fr Mbaka should see it from this perspective.
Meanwhile, some of us have not been quiet since the video went viral on Thursday, we have reached out to some of our Charismatic brother priests in the South-East who in turn reached out to Mr Peter Obi appealing to him to toll the line of peace which resulted to the Public Statement by Mr Obi urging people to respect clergyman’s opinion, adding that he (Peter Obi) would interact with Fr Mbaka as soon as he returns from his trip.
All these moves were made underground to calm the situation down. And we thank Fr Ebube Muonso and other Charismatic priests and brothers including bro Ifeanyi Anunta for the role they played in this. We also appreciate our brother, Fr Mbaka for his quick apology yesterday which has also gone a long way in dousing the tension.
We believe that by the time Mr Peter Obi meets with Fr Mbaka and sort things out, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu would have also concluded the canonical process initiated over Fr Mbaka’s utterances, the political tension may have calmed down, then the suspension would be lifted, and Adoration would resume.
The undeniable fact remains that Mr Peter Obi is our own, Fr Mbaka is also our own. Both are great Igbo sons and we want both of them to thrive in their political and spiritual endeavors which benefit we all. Fr Mbaka should not use his own to spoil Mr Peter Obi own, and Mr Peter Obi should not use his own to spoil Fr Mbaka own.
In view of this, please remember both of them in your prayers in this their trying times and be rest assured that the Holy Spirit is in control as the gate of hell can never prevail against the church.
Finally, I want to personally appeal to us all, both supporters of Peter Obi and those of Fr Mbaka to stop the ongoing attacks and counter attacks in the social media in order to give peace a chance. Remember the Igbo adage which says that “na onye gburu nwanne ya abughi Odogwu”. (He that killed his brother is not a champion).
Thank you, may God bless us all. Amen!Yours truly in Christ, Bro Sylvanus Offorka Obasi; Member, Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria; Supporter, Peter Obi Presidential Ambition; Lover/fan, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka & Adoration Ministry.