The Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, on Friday, responded to claims that its Spiritual Director, Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka, attacked journalists of the British Broadcasting Corporation who he had invited to interview him.
The church warned that “imbedded in Fr Mbaka’s seeming humility is a den of the ‘roaring lion of the tribe of Judah’ whom his detractors cannot withstand.”
The BBC Igbo service had in a statement, on Thursday, accused Mbaka of ordering an attack on its reporters whom he had invited to interview him.
But Adoration Ministry, in a statement by its media chief, Ike Maximus Ugwuoke, titled ‘Fr Mbaka is too busy with the works of God to be distracted’, described the report as a false narrative aimed at tarnishing Mbaka’s image.
The church 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 eyewitness account of what happened revealed that one Fr Obiekeze, who estranged himself from the ministry and made a viral video with the BBC recently, abusing Fr Mbaka and his perceived romance with President Muhammadu Buhari, came to join Fr Mbaka at the altar during last Wednesday’s weekly ministry programme.
“The said Fr Obiekezie 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 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.
“Unknown to everyone in the ministry, the said priest came with some persons with unknown identities 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, an altercation between the fellows and the security men at Fr Mbaka’s parish house drew Fr Mbaka’s attention to them and his timely intervention helped to save the situation.
“Fr Mbaka was surprised when the unknown fellows identified themselves as coming from BBC with Fr Obiekezie.
“Surprised by such obvious betrayal and a 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.”