On Thursday, December 9, 2018, a group in the Catholic community, branded as Concerned Catholics, lengthily rebuked controversial priest, Ejike Camillus Anthony Ebenezer Mbaka, over his apocryphal accusation of murder, which he said “may have been politically engineered or ecumenically approved.Essentially, he alleged that the state and church were likely colluding to fire him.
The group’s statement, signed by leader Jude Ndukwe and Rita Maduabuchi, called the founder of the Word Prayer Center of the Eucharistic Jesus, better known as Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), a liar who faked his own assassination to blackmail the church over his controversial transfer, a fraud, splurging on alleged AMEN surplus, a hedonist who wanted to cling to Worship for comforts and acquisitions and a conceited man who believed himself to be greater than the church. So they challenged him to leave the Catholic Church and see if AMEN would prosper.
That’s part of what they said; “We wish to state categorically that this fairy tale of assassination attempts against Father Mbaka has since become a charming strategy to keep his followers mesmerized as it makes them see him as a superhuman whom they must bid for, be they correct or not.
“No priest in the Catholic Church, however powerful, influential, highly placed or divinely empowered, can trample the Church under foot without losing his salt soon after. If he is tired of being a priest and keeping his oaths on the day of his ordination, let him honorably resign and lead his ministry, independent of the Catholic Church, and see how far that will take him.
“The ‘sin’ of the Church was that Mbaka was involved in a routine transfer which seemed to have negatively affected his comfort and his acquisitions. And since then he has not “forgiven” the Church for daring to transfer a man who, in his vanity, considered himself untouchable. We will not sit back and fold our arms while some misled and misguided brethren continue to bring the Church to infamy. Enough is enough!”
Well, the Nigerians never learned the truth about the claim and the counterclaim because there was no suggestion that an investigation was carried out by the relevant security agencies and if it was carried out no one said anything on the conclusions, almost four years later. So, it is either Mbaka who deceived the nation, created unnecessary tensions and public security concerns, because his people were already spoiling the war, or the political class and the church, in fact, complicit in canceling it . Both situations are criminal in nature, but the rule in Nigeria is that the rich and powerful should stay away from their serious crimes.
Because Catholic leaders would not have mustered the courage four years ago to toughen the rule of engagement for priests under their watch, coupled with the obvious decision of the ruling political class to deliberately let the tumult of assassinations turn in an ecumenical family affair, a small part of the 25 million members of the church, have amassed an army of renegades, defying the constituted authorities in the church, at will, once it comes to Mbaka, whether he’s being transferred or being asked to take time in solitude to hear more from God, which is a nice way to tell him to go home.
Despite his obvious talent, Mbaka has surely become a liability to the Catholic community and the Body of Christ and that has nothing to do with his political views. His eldest, Matthew Hassan Kukah, lent his voice to politics, politics, national and international affairs, long before Mbaka was ordained a priest on July 29, 1995. He is also renowned for being controversial and has made enemies among the leaders of the country. Yet he is respected, even canonized, by his admirers around the world. I believe the difference in their interventions is that Kukah knows the line of decency and rarely crosses it. However, Mbaka regularly walks quietly there and sometimes takes a nap on the other side. Fame and money probably also had his best side and his best judgment.
Undoubtedly, God was good for the priest. For someone ordained 27 years ago, officially worth $20 million in 2020, that’s not a day-to-day material achievement in full-time ministry, given that Mbaka has never held office. secular employment. Nor did he inherit any wealth from his parents, the late Chief Humphrey Ogbuefi and Felicia Mbaka of Amata Ituku of Awgu LGA of Enugu State. According to the priest on his Facebook page, his father’s family was renowned for their special skill in harvesting palm wine in the Ituku community and his father had wanted him to follow the family line of business, before God has it.
In fact, by his own admission on spending for charity, he might be much richer than officially acknowledged. On March 4, 2020, Mbaka was at Annunciation Specialty Hospital, Emene, Enugu on behalf of Multi-Life Savers for the Less Privileged, a non-governmental arm of his ministry and gave the following statement.
“We presented them with a bank draft worth N18.8 million to cover the accrued bills of indigent patients they had treated at our instance, as well as a deposit for other indigent patients who would come here. in the future. We do this every day and it’s recorded that not a month goes by that I don’t spend at least $2 million quietly on charity.
On his claim to do his charity without deliberate publicity, Mbaka was not honest. The event was extensively covered and reported by the mainstream media and somehow the stories were nearly the same, word for word, fueling suspicion of a guided PR, albeit signatures showed that journalists were present. Also spending around 120 million naira a month just on charity means that Mbaka is a billionaire in the mold of Aliko Dangote et al, and this lavish sum could not have come from tithes and offerings of members alone of Adoration, even though all of them are millionaires.
This means that Mbaka has heavyweight financiers that he is probably useful to in one way or another, and this relationship probably does not serve the purpose of the Kingdom. His huge fortune may also come from other sources but what earns him a huge monthly income, from which he could easily distribute over 100 million naira, must have tied him so strongly to Adoration, which would make him stand out like a dagger simultaneously in the four chambers of his heart.
But if he has become a cancer to the church, leaders should find a way to excise him, without breaking the whole system. If he is found to be benign, they will have to find a way to deal with him, starting with curbing his excesses. His finances also need to be audited, despite the fact that his acts of giving have made him a cult hero among his admirers.
Last Tuesday Rev. Charles Southall III, who led First Emanuel Baptist Church in New Orleans and Baton Rouge for more than 30 years, was arrested for stealing nearly $1 million from the church. . The 64-year-old will be sentenced on January 17, 2023, despite being returned the refund. Authorities investigated and charged him. His supporters did not indulge in sheer gullibility by dismissing the facts and engaging in senseless protests. When the facts were presented to them, they applied common sense, unlike the constantly unruly worship crowd.
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