ENUGU — The Catholic Diocese of Enugu says the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka contravened the Canon Law by making inflammatory political comments against the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Mbaka, on Wednesday, had among other comments described Obi as a stingy man who is unworthy of becoming president of Nigeria.
He stated categorically that it was better to have an old generous man as president than a stingy young man.
Reacting to Mbaka’s comments which drew public anger toward him on social media, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, in a statement last night, condemned and dissociated the church from Mbaka’s inflammatory political utterances, describing it as divisive and unbecoming.
The statement was signed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Most Rev. Ernest Anezichukwu Obodo, the Chancellor/ Secretary, Rev. Fr. Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie, and Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Geoffrey Aguigwo, and dated Thursday, June 16, 2022, stated that the action of Mbaka was contrary to canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
“The attention of the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Callistus V.C Onaga, and the Catholic Diocese of Enugu has been drawn to the inflammatory political utterances by Rev. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka, the Director of Catholic Adoration Ministry Chaplaincy Enugu, on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 during his Wednesday Adoration Programme,” the Church stated.
“Fr. Mbaka during his preaching attacked the good reputation of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, describing him as ‘a stingy man’ and as ‘a joker’, contrary to canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.
“He also made fun of the Labour Party and vowed that Mr. Obi could not be the president of Nigeria. This is a clear violation of the provisions of canon 287 (2) which forbids priests from engaging in partisan politics.”
Stressing that Mbaka’s views on the matter are entirely personal to him and do not represent the position of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, the Church warned the fiery cleric to refrain from making further provocative prophecies or utterances capable of heating up the polity.
“The Catholic Diocese of Enugu hereby condemns and dissociates herself from such unbecoming and divisive utterances from Fr. Mbaka. We notify the general public that Fr. Mbaka’s views on the matter are entirely personal to him and do not represent the position of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu,” the statement read.
“In an effort to keep him united to the Body of Christ, we enjoin him to refrain from making further provocative prophecies or utterances capable of heating up the polity. We assure the people of God and the general public that the Catholic Diocese of Enugu is taking the due canonical process.”
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has hailed the Enugu Diocese of the Catholic Church for issuing a prompt disclaimer about Mbaka’s “inflammatory and unwarranted assault” on Obi’s person.
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in a statement on Friday, said Mbaka needs psychological and spiritual help, calling Nigerians to pray for him.
The statement read in part: “Mbaka is human bound to make blunders and needs our prayers, psychological and spiritual assistance to bounce back, and we know that the Enugu Diocese of Catholic Church has cautioned him privately to refrain from political pronouncements.
“Go and sin no more Fr. Mbaka. We implore Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate, to find a way to forgive Mbaka. To err is human, and to forgive is divine.”