The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has placed Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka on suspension from church activities for one month.
According to the Church, this is due to the cleric’s entanglement which has overshadowed his theological obligations on a scale that nurtures unending concerns amongst his senior clerics.
Mbaka was asked to proceed on suspension with effect from May 3.
His suspension came after being summoned by Callistus Valentine Onaga, the diocesan bishop.
Onaga had called Mbaka following his repeated clashes with President Muhammadu Buhari and warned that his conduct was smearing the church’s image. Mbaka had criticised the President last week over its inaction on the widespread killings across the nation.
Speaking at the Adoration Ministry in Enugu, Mbaka said it is wrong for Buhari to maintain grave silence; despite the incessant killings in the country.
He accused the government of being behind several killings across the country; while tagging separatists groups as terrorists rather than focus on getting them good jobs.
The cleric also frowned on the activities of herders that destroy the farmland of people without any repercussion.
He said Buhari had failed Nigeria woefully and that he should resign now. Mbaka also called for the President’s impeachment.
Following his suspension, Mbaka returned to his ministry that lies north of the outskirts of Enugu city centre; where he subsequently incited his members against the bishop, sources said.
Church sources said Mbaka’s latest suspension was being viewed as significant for its undertone, but not the first time the fiery priest would face administrative action.
“We know people will link this to his confrontation with Buhari, but he was once demoted from a parish priest to a deputy under a parish priest,” a church official revealed.
“He had also been transferred from bigger parishes to smaller ones for his frequent infractions in the past.”
Still, church officials admitted Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry has been a cash cow for the Enugu Diocese, even though it was built by Mr Mbaka and not directly under its control.
“The real problem is the Diocese has been financially dependent on Mbaka, collecting his millions,” a source said, adding that some of the senior clerics themselves have also been in bed with politicians whom Mr Mbaka has long railed against.