The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has removed Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, as the spiritual director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria (AMEN).
Fr Mbaka, who personally made the announcement during the Sunday Mass, stated that the bishop had appointed Fr Anthony Amadi as the new Spiritual Director of AMEN, to be assisted by other unmentioned priests.
His removal comes days after the church leadership lifted a three-month-old ban o the ministry. The Catholic Bishop of the diocese, Callistus Onaga, had on 18 June, banned church Catholic members from attending activities at the ministry.
The ban followed scathing remarks against Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, by Mr Mbaka.
Mr Mbaka, during his weekly service in June, said Mr Obi would not be president of Nigeria in 2023 because he is a stingy man.
“So, while I proceed to the monastery to continue with the remaining disciplinary exercises, as directed; I wouldn’t know how long; but the church has appointed Fr Anthony Amadi, one of us, to be overseeing all affairs of the ministry, to be assisted by other priests, pending my return, by the grace of God,” Mbaka stated.
Mbaka had earlier explained that the ministry had not fully opened, pointing out that some programmes including the weekly Friday all-night adoration remained suspended till further notice.
According to him, “our Sunday Masses and Wednesdays’ ‘E No Dey Again’ programmes would continue, while others such as Friday all-night adoration remains suspended”.
Meanwhile, Fr Amadi, who was present at the Mass, was nearly lynched by angry worshipers after the announcement. The angry mob had already enveloped him before AMEN security personnel rushed to his rescue and guided him to the Father’s house.
Mbaka had barely mentioned the new priest’s, name when the congregation erupted into, shouting “we say no,” “we say no,” we no gree and started carrying green leaves, thereby forcing Fr Mbaka to quickly conclude the Mass.
Thousands of faithful had excitedly thronged the prayer center from far and wide following an earlier wide announcement that Bishop Onaga had lifted ban on the ministry.
They were however left dejected following the latest development.