By Nnamdi Mbawike, Enugu
There was jubilation in different parts of Enugu yesterday following the appearance of fiery Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, at one of the venues where his supporters were protesting his alleged disappearance.
Palpable tension had heightened in different parts of Enugu State over the whereabouts of the spiritual director of Adoration Ministry.
The tension followed an alarm raised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) over the whereabouts of the priest.
Mbaka has been in the news after he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be impeached.
But, the presidency replied swiftly and claimed that he was attacking Buhari because he was refused a contract.
Another chapter was added to the feud between the presidency and Mbaka yesterday when OYC claimed that the priest was missing.
A statement issued by the president-general of OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, claimed that the cleric was last seen on Tuesday, adding that every effort to trace him had failed.
“We have it on good authority that his aides have neither seen nor heard from him since Tuesday.
“Calls put to his mobile line have also remained unanswered; this has now prompted us to issue this alarm as we would not take it lightly should anything untoward happen to him.
“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 warned.
Some close aides of the Catholic Cleric who declined comment, said the picture was not clear yet.
But it was learnt from some sources who preferred anonymity that he was seen yesterday when he departed to honour an invitation by his Bishop, Callistus Onaga.
Following the tension generated over his whereabouts, his supporters embarked on a peaceful protest, demanding his release.
A message inviting the youths to the Adoration ground, read, “Important!
“Good morning friends and well-wishers. Please if you know you stand for justice and you do not want the lone voice that speaks for the poor in this country to be silenced, gather at Adoration ground let’s go for a protest at the Bishops court.
“Fr. Mbaka is nowhere to be found. He went yesterday to answer the Bishop’s call and up till now, he’s not taking his calls. Let’s gather! SSG.”.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Enugu State Command, Daniel Ndukwe said he was in a meeting.
Meanwhile thousands of Catholic faithful embarked on peaceful protest to the residential house of the Onaga.
The protesters who carried placards with different inscriptions including No Mbaka No Bishop, insisted that they wanted to see Mbaka.
Some of the protesters destroyed the fence of the house of Onaga, alleging that his house was the last place Mbaka visited before he was declared missing.
Tension was however doused when Mbaka suddenly appeared at one of the venues of the protest and waved at his supporters before proceeding to Adoration Ground in Emene.