Last Saturday, the 24th of January 2015, a large crowd of students who are under the sponsorship of Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka gathered at the Adoration Permanent site at Umuchigbo Iji Nike Enugu in a prayer outing seeking for God’s intervention in their lives and God’s protection upon their benefactor – Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka. This was happening at the wake of the New Year message delivered by the priest and the attendant widespread attacks on him and threats to his vocation from different quarters of the nation.
Amen Super News covered the prayer outing which lasted for hours as the students continue to pray and do procession at the isolated part of the Adoration ground.
In her words of Exhortation before the Students commenced their prayers, a Revered sister who addressed them said “The part education plays cannot be understood. We are asking God so that he will give us the enabling power so that when we read we understand, so that we can be like our Spiritual Director who we are his beneficiaries. He does not know most us nor does he know where we come from. The common denominator is that each and every one of us has a need and for some people he feels that they have talents that need to be enhanced, so even though they may not be desperately Indigent in that way, he wants to encourage them to use their talents to the optimum. We will remember our parents too. Finally, adoration ministry is like home to us, we are asking God that the devil will not thwart God’s plan for us. .
While fielding reactions from the students on the alleged call to sanction Fr. Mbaka over his New Year message here the excerpts of their reactions.
Odo Cynthia, an SS3 science student of Holy Rosary College Enugu said, “ we heard what is happening, sister told us about it in school and letter we the students that Fr. Mbaka is sponsoring saw it in Newspaper. What I want to say is that at first we couldn’t believe in what they wrote in the newspapers, I remember there was a time they reported him to Pope John Paul the second and he supported what he was doing.
“In our Catholicism we should support, because it is an apostolic church and a charismatic church. They should know that what he is doing is no way controversial to what the church is saying. I believe in the catholic church; I am a staunch catholic, I have checked it all round and I see nothing wrong in what Fr. Mbaka is doing. If they sanction him today, the catholic church is going to lose a lot. Take for instance, they sanction him and he starts another church, believe me, many people will join that church including me because no doubt I am a beneficiary of his charity. If he is not there, I don’t think I will be in school today, even our parents couldn’t have done anything for us, and we wouldn’t have being in such a good school like HRC. This is just a little to what he has done.
“Just last year, he sponsored three of our school girls that have finished secondary school to study in Russia. Can they sponsor all these students that he is sponsoring? It is not only that, what about the sick people he is helping. I remember the time my daddy fell sick, it was Fr. Mbaka that paid his hospital bills. If they sanction him and such cases come up who will do it? Is it the Government that doesn’t know anything about the poor masses? I want to tell the world and all those calling for Fr. Mbaka’s sanction that whatever they are doing they are wasting their time because the God we are serving will continue to be with him. They should stop whatever they are doing now, focus on other pressing agenda of the church and leave a man of God.
Another student Mghodile Loretta Chizoba from Coal City University, a second year student of Political science said:
“I want to ask a question, those that are saying that what Fr. Mbaka said was wrong, are they right? What Fr. Mbaka said was right, they know it was right but they don’t want to say it. Fr. Mbaka has the right to say what he said on behalf of others. Those that want to kill him, I don’t know why they want to kill him. They should leave him alone for us because without him the poor masses can’t go to school, pay their hospital bills. Without him I can’t be where I am today. So all am I am saying is that they should leave him alone for us.
In a related development, Chiamaka Madu, a final year student of Computer Sciences, University of Nigeria Nsukka, said:
“My family as a whole is a very beneficiary of Fr. Mbaka’s goodness following the death of father. His message on 31st night, doesn’t warrant the whole lots of controversies coming out of it. Last week, Pope Francis spoke on freedom of speech. Every other priest and person in Nigeria are scared to speak out concerning this issue that Nigeria is facing, so Fr. Mbaka saw it and had to speak out. He has always done that. I don’t know why people are surprised; I don’t know why they are clamouring for his sanction. He is only trying to speak for people that can’t speak for themselves. Fr. Mbaka is speaking for people like us who cannot speak. I cant say something like that because I don’t have the strength; I don’t have the power and I will be scared. But he is a man that is not scared of anything. I don’t see what he said as wrong; go to the social media, people air their opinion and nobody picks on them.
“ Fr. Mbaka spoke to us , in the family of his congregation and everyone is picking on him, so if he doesn’t speak to us, who will he speak to? So he has every right to say what he said and what the catholic church is saying is really baffling me. I should thought by this point in time they should stand by him so that this whole thing of looking for him will not be coming out by now. But the Catholic church is divided, some are saying sanction him, others are saying do this and that. If they sanction him what will happen? It is a loss to the whole catholic church because he is a standing point to many souls. When you talk about Catholic Church in Nigeria and you name people, Fr. Mbaka must come into it. Sanctioning Fr. Mbaka from Catholic Church will be so bizarre. I don’t see it as something necessary.
“If Fr. Mbaka decides today say ok catholic church doesn’t want me, let me go and open a ministry of my own”, know he is a man of God everybody will leave the catholic church and follow him. The reason the catholic church is acting this way is what I don’t understand, I thought they should come together as one body and protect their own. Let’s assume the Bishops feel he is wrong why not call him inside and admonish him as one family, not to air it to the world that he should be sanctioned. No, that is not how things are done.
“ Watch out everything he said, this country is not moving forward and we want the country to move forward. He told the country that our government is failing us and everybody is saying the same thing. Please people should let him be. I am in school today because of him, my family is there because of him, not just that if you start interviewing many people he has helped, I don’t think you can finish it this year. Let us all stand by him, support him and pray for him because in this moment, he needs our prayers.
In his own reaction, Onegbu Kenechukwu, a final year student of Economics Department ESUT, wondered what was the way forward for this country. He said “Let just assume that Fr. Mbaka didn’t say this, what is our way forward? Who is going to say it? A Dollar is about N200 now, before now it wasn’t like that.” It is high time Nigerians came together and tell ourselves the truth because many of our leaders have misled us in many ways. If anything happens to Fr. Mbaka today, it is going to affect every one of us both financially and spiritually because he is like a father to many of us. We believe in him, see the crowd here now, he is the one paying our school fees, we can’t do without him. The catholic Church should rally round and support him because he said nothing wrong.
Onaba Ebube Victor, a recent school leaver who said it was Fr. Mbaka that trained him in school up to that point stated that in the book of Nehemiah the Bible says that Nehemiah shouted “Now I know that the hand of God is upon my life.” I want to tell those attacking Fr. Mbaka that the hand of God upon his life. Without Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, I will not go to school, live in a house or eat.