In a statement released on Sunday and signed on behalf of Concerned Catholics by Chief Jude Ndukwe and Rita Maduabuchi, the Group said it was alarmed that Fr Mbaka could condescend so low as to plan his own assassination attempt only to turn around to accuse the Catholic Church of such a sinister plot.
The statement reads: “We of the Concerned Catholics have watched with utter shame and dismay the antics of Fr Camillus Ejike Mbaka of Enugu Diocese, the latest being the execution of an assassination attempt on himself which we have every reasonable cause to believe he planned against himself only for him to turn around to claim in a statement released by his Ministry that the phantom attempt “may have either been politically engineered or ecumenically endorsed”, meaning that the Catholic Church might have had a hand in it.
“We wish to state categorically clear that this fairy tale of assassination attempts on Fr Mbaka has since become a charming strategy for holding his followers hypnotized as it makes them see him as a super human whose biddings they must do irrespective of its correctness or otherwise. The truth is that, history has shown that Fr Mbaka falls back on this story every time he loses enormous goodwill among his followers and Catholics in particular and Nigerians in general. It is a strategy he employs to curry public sympathy and presidential favours after openly lamenting at that same occasion that the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari abandoned him.
“After having watched the video of the bazaar, we observed that it was with so much pain that Fr Mbaka accused all and sundry including the Catholic Church, the presidency led by Muhammadu Buhari and Peter Obi/PDP of either persecuting him or abandoning him. The “sin” of the Church was that Mbaka was involved in a routine transfer that seemed to have negatively affected his comfort and acquisitions. And since then, he has not “forgiven” the Church for daring to transfer a man who had in his conceit considered himself untouchable. Those who know how the Catholic Church operates know that transfer of priests is a routine exercise worldwide and that no priest can claim ownership of any parish or Ministry as all these are placed under the care of a Bishop who administers the diocese.
“We would have refrained from making any statement on this matter but for the fact that the statement from his Ministry stated that Fr Mbaka ‘had held us from joining issues with the Church clergies and hierarchies on the subject, but we cannot continue to keep silent especially now that the issue is taking the dimension of plot to exterminate his life’. Let us state unequivocally that Fr Mbaka’s unleashing of his Ministry against the Catholic Church in attempt to blackmail, cajole, and or stampede Her into doing his distractive biddings will fail just as others before him who took similar paths in the past have found out today. No priest of the Catholic Church, no matter how powerful, influential, highly placed or divinely empowered, can ride roughshod on the Church without losing his salt shortly after. As a priest, Fr Mbaka knows better than trying futilely to engage the Church in such a manner. If he is tired of being a priest and upholding his oaths on the day of his ordination, he should resign honourably and run his Ministry independent of the Catholic Church, and let’s see how far that takes him.
“The truth is that no matter how great a priest of the Catholic Church grows, he can never be bigger than his cassock. We therefore call on relevant security agencies to meticulously investigate this latest claim of assassination attempt by Mbaka on himself with a view to unraveling this shenanigan and put this matter to rest once and for all. We cannot continue to suffer ignominy as Catholics just because of the excesses of one man who thinks he is now bigger than the Church. And if his Ministry think they can ride roughshod over the Catholic Church in Nigeria because of the conservative way the Church operates and its historical perseverance in the face of extreme provocations by one of Her own, then the Ministry will have us as Concerned Catholics to contend with.
“We will not sit down and fold our arms while some misled and misguided brethren continue to scurrilously bring the Church to infamy. Enough is enough!”