By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
The protest by Father Ejike Mbaka’s followers shook the Enugu catholic diocese on Thursday.
The Bishop of Enugu, Callistus Onaga, called for a seven-day prayer of atonement and reparation.
He said it was to seek the face of God over the desecration of the holy altar of sacrifice.
A protest rocked Enugu on Wednesday following a rumour that Mbaka had been arrested.
In a May 6 letter to parishioners, chaplaincies and religious houses in the diocese, Bishop Onaga wrote: “On 5th May 2021, the followers of Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria violently broke into the diocesan cathedral church and desecrated the holy alter of sacrifice.
“Over and above this, they brutally vandalised the diocesan bishop’s residence, the cathedral parish house and the secretariat building complex.
“Therefore, I hereby declare and call for a one week union of prayer in reparation and atonement for this heinous act against our central place of worship and the sanctity of the church.
“The prayer begins from Friday 7th May to Friday 14th May 2021. Every parish, chaplaincy and religious community in the diocese is obliged to participate in this holy activity.
“In addition to the traditional May devotion prayers (like daily benediction), the following prayers are to be offered for this purpose:
“(a) Five decades of the Holy Rosary, (b) Act of reparation in the Most Blessed Sacrament, (c) Psalms 51 and 23.
“I enjoin you to remain sober and keep the diocese in prayer. With divine assistance and grace, we shall overcome this challenging moment. May Our Lady, the Queen of May intercede for us. Amen.”
Mbaka had explained why some unruly youths attacked Bishop Onaga’s residence the protest over his disappearance.
Addressing his followers on Wednesday, the cleric said: “I thank God you have never attacked the wrong people. The DSS (Department of State Services) was not involved in what happened.
“But the Bishop gave an order that I should not come here (Adoration ground) from today (Wednesday); I should leave adoration house, parish house, that there will be no programme here for 30 days and I should stay silent for 30 days. So, I am telling you the truth about what happened.
“When Bishop asked me to go and take you people back to Adoration, I asked him what happened now because you told me that I am going to stay away and silent for 30 days?
“Then, he said I should go first and tell you people to go because things are getting worse.
“This is why people should understand how God works. I never disobeyed the church. People are busy misquoting me doing everything to close this ministry but by the grace of God they cannot do anything.”
Mbaka said Onaga summoned him over his recent comments concerning the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu and his connection to the presidency.