A major protest was averted in Nigeria’s southeastern Enugu state following the re-emergence of Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry.
His whereabouts had earlier stirred a major confusion in the state when Mbaka who was scheduled to attend his usual Wednesday morning prayer programme did not show up, a situation which fuelled speculation that he might have been arrested.
The uncertainty deepened when a socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, claimed that the whereabouts of Mbaka is unknown.
“We are giving the Federal Government 48 hours to produce the priest, else they should be ready to face Igbo youths. They were dining and wining with him all along and now that he told the truth, they are no longer comfortable with him.
“Let nothing happen to Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka. It will not be in anybody’s interest,” the group said in a statement by its president, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike.
The heightened speculation however led the Nigerian Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately clarify that Mbaka was not in its custody.
“He is not with the DSS, please,” a spokesperson for DSS, Peter Afunnaya, said.
There was however wild jubilation when Mbaka returned in a vehicle around 2 pm.
His supporters were seen screaming for joy, ‘Father Mbaka, Oh! you are home!.” Mbaka later came out of the vehicle to greet his supporters.
Mbaka has been in the news for weeks over a controversy involving him and the presidency.
He said God had left President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded that he resigns or be impeached over bad governance.
Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu responded swiftly with an accusation that the cleric is angry because his demand for government contracts was rebuffed.
Another presidential aide Femi Adesina on Tuesday alleged that some religious and past political leaders were working with unknown persons to overthrow the President Buhari administration.
He said the plann is to “throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.”
By Abel Ejikeme