Pro-Biafra agitators on Sunday lashed out at fiery Enugu catholic priest and founder of the Adoration Ministries, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, for describing the ongoing protests as a waste of time.
Mbaka had in a sermon in Enugu on Saturday condemned ongoing agitation and protests for the actualization of Biafra.
The priest, who also described the agitation as ‘evil’, chided the protesters, mostly youths, for abandoning their businesses and disrupting economic activities.
“Locking up your shops and disrupting economic activities will not add any naira to your pocket, whatever grievance you have could be resolved through dialogue,” the clergyman had said.
But, reacting to Mbaka’s comments, a faction of the Movement for the Actualization of Biafra, which had joined the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in the protests, said the agitators are ready to sacrifice more than their shops and businesses.
National Director of Information of the MASSOB faction, Comrade Uchenna Madu, in a statement made available to journalists in Enugu, said the youths are ready to lay down their lives for the sake of ‘freedom’.
“Biafra agitators are more determined to sacrifice our shops, businesses, jobs, comfort and even the supreme price for the sake of our freedom,” Madu said.
The MASSOB spokesman described Mbaka’s comments as insensitive.
He wondered why the cleric spoke out against the protests a few days after he was allegedly visited by the wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, who was in Enugu State recently to inaugurate a health screening scheme.
“Factional MASSOB totally condemned Fr. Mbaka’s insensitive statement against Biafra.
“His position on Biafra is misguided, so selfish and shameful – how can a revered Igbo clergyman descend so low in making such a condemnable statement few days after Buhari’s wife visited him?,” Madu said.
He added that nothing can “frustrate or diminish the rising status, consciousness and global re-awakening/acceptance of Biafra”.
Accusing the cleric of speaking from both sides of his mouth, the MASSOB spokesman said, “Igbo christians, catholics and even the Pope will prove Mbaka wrong.
“Many Igbo clergymen including the catholic priests are not in support of Fr. Mbaka’s government paid anti comment on Biafra.”
“This is why the Igbo youths and other citizens have lost confidence and trust on many Igbo leaders in Nigeria,” he added.
Madu expressed regrets that Mbaka chose to speak out against the pro-Biafra agitation despite the fact that the agitators patronized his satchet and bottled water products while marching on the streets in the course of the protests.
“Fr. Mbaka’s business boomed as the protests last,” Madu noted.