Mbaka denies ordering attack on BBC reporters
The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has said that he was not aware of the presence of BBC reporters at the premises of the ministry last Wednesday evening.
There were reports that the three BBC reporters who were led into the premises of the Ministry to interview Mbaka by one Rev. Fr. Obiekezie Cajetan were attacked by the cleric’s faithful.
In his reaction, Mbaka, through the Adoration Ministry Spokesman, Mr. Maximus Ugwuoke, said the entire Adoration family was not aware of the presence of the BBC team on the Adoration ground with the mission to interview Mbaka.
Ugwuoke narrated that what took place was that the BBC team swooped on Mbaka in espionage with a “detracting priest” from Anambra State and were confronted by the AMEN security operatives. He insisted that the BBC was never invited to interview Mbaka.
Ugwuoke said: “We make haste to state that the report was a carefully crafted, mendacious narrative calculated to tarnish the image of Fr. Mbaka who in his amiable nature could not have done or directed any of those alleged acts of assault on the BBC team or anyone as alleged against him.
“An eye witness account of what happened reveals that one Fr. Obiekeze (Cajetan) who estranged himself from the ministry and made a viral video with BBC recently, abusing Fr. Mbaka and his perceived romance with President Muhammadu Buhari, came to join Fr. Mbaka at the altar during his last Wednesday’s weekly ministry programme.
“The said Fr. Obiekezie persistently insisted that Fr. Mbaka should grant him an interview at his altar. Fr. Mbaka in his loving, forgiving and welcoming nature embraced the said priest but however declined the priest’s demand to interview him at the altar wondering when the said priest became a media practitioner and the organisation he was working for.”
He continued: “Unknown to anyone in the ministry, the said priest came with some persons with an unknown identity who were secretly recording the day’s programme until they were accosted by the ministry security suspecting them to be assassins on a surveillance mission. The said ministry security seized the equipment of the strange fellows and sought to know their identities.
“Later in the evening after Fr. Mbaka was through with the programme and retired to the parish house to continue his consultation with worshippers waiting to see him, altercations between the fellows and the security men at Fr. Mbaka’s parish house drew Fr. Mbaka’s attention and his timely intervention helped to save the situation.”
Ugwuoke said that Fr. Mbaka was surprised when the “unknown fellows” identified themselves as coming from BBC with Fr. Obiekezie.
“Surprised by such obvious betrayal and stage-managed visit from a fellow priest, Fr. Mbaka directed that every of their seized equipment be returned to them and made sure no one hurt either the priest or the unknown visitors he surreptitiously came with,” he explained.