I Can’t Resign Being a Catholic Priest, Fr. Agbo Tells Congregation
…Recounts how human feces was poured on him while in church service
By Victor Nwegede
A firebrand Catholic Priest of Abakaliki Diocese and the founder of Holy Spirit in Action Ministry, Abakaliki (HAMA), Rev. Fr. Benjamin Chukwuma Agbo has vowed before his congregation that no amount of human pressures would make him to resign from being a Catholic Priest as he said, his challenges since he became an ordained Priest are getting high on the daily basis.
Fr. Agbo on Sunday 29th December, 2019 at his adoration ground, Egwudinagu Ishieke in Ebonyi Council Area, during the end year thanksgiving and bazaar services, wondered how people are preaching him to resign from being a Priest of Catholic Church including some pastors and his co-priests following his misunderstanding with the authorities of Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki for having been too hot and naked in disseminating the true gospels in the church.
The Catholic Priest had earlier in an interview with our newsman, sent his Christmas message of 2019, before unveiling his challenges as an ordained Priest. He also denied a report alleging that he has built a new church called Reformed Catholic Church, saying that it was a part of the calculated efforts of his enemies by using media to defame his character, but maintained that nobody would be able to frustrate him to not fulfilling his Godly mission on earth as an ordained Catholic Priest no matter the number of his attackers.
The embattled man of God further recounted how he was poured human feces by a group of people whose relative has directly benefited from his God’s healing gift for having a squabble with the Catholic authorities of Abakaliki Diocese, saying that, the group was revealed pushed by his suspected enemies. He has as well sent his 2020 message, prophecies and prayers, expressed optimism that, the year 2020 would be better than the previous years, as he called Nigerian leaders to pave ways in making peace with the people under their authorities, vice versa, and also noted that God dwells always with a home where peace thrives.
Recall that Fr. Agbo since ordained Priest has enjoyed high commendations of his congregations, and people from all walks of life have continued talking good about him, with many testimonies abound in various parishes already served as their Priest, and yet his charismatic style of spreading gospels has led credence to his misunderstanding with the church authorities. This therefore, has now resulted many people sympathetically begging him to resign being a Catholic Priest as his church superiors have allegedly denied him a level ground to operate charismatically and as a Catholic Priest in the diocese.
1. May I meet you Father?
I am Rev. Fr. Benjamin Chukwuma Agbo, the Priest of Catholic Church of Abakaliki Diocese, and the founder of HAMA, that means, Holy Spirit in Action Ministry, Abakaliki.
2. The event of Christmas season is ongoing, what are your special message for children of God and the world at large?
From my own point of view, Christmas is all about remembering the event of advent of our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth as a human being. In theology, it is called incarnation. Incarnation is all about God the Son becoming human being, taking flesh as a human being. And one of the reasons, He has to come down on earth to become a human being is that, we lost our divinity during the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve. And He came down as a human being to restore us back to our divinity again; to our original status, to our immortality. Having commemorated His advent here on earth, we human beings, should go back to our original status: the status of immortality, the status of being what God made us to be in the first place, representing Him here on earth as another God. And even Jesus Himself said, in John 14:6 that He is the Way, He is the Truth, and also He is the Life. We ourselves as Christians, having also welcomed Jesus on earth as human being, we should build the way for others to follow, others following us should not fall into a ditch, they should not fall into a very big valley, we should build a good way for others to follow. We should make a way for others, and as others follow us, they should be allowed to be what God has made them to be, not leading people astray through our ways of life. We should also be truthful, naked in telling the truth not just to cover it up. Wherever we are, our truth should be very open. Though, they said that virtue lies in the middle. Today, people believe in painting truth, paint it in the way it will be very pleasant for people to hear it. But in the olden days, prophets were known for saying the truth, and facing the consequences, even Jesus Himself did the same thing. When he came down, He preached truth. That’s why people in-charge then never liked them for saying the truth. They said we know you, that you are a baby, you are still a small child. Why are you so rude to elders? But He never came out to be rude on anybody, He was busy saying the truth, and doing the truth. He said we should know the truth and the truth shall set us free. So, when we are truthful, we should be able to proclaim truth wherever we are as people that have welcomed Jesus Christ in our lives. He said in John1:12, He came to His own people and His own people did not welcome Him. Because they never knew Him, they never saw Him as God, He said to those who welcomed Him, He gave them the power to become children of God. This is to tell you, Jesus has come, if you welcome Him, He will give you the power to be courageous even in the faces of these people that came to terrorize us. Those who came to persecute us for saying the truth. He will give courage to us to become like Him. You will be able to speak the truth and dam the consequences as the olden days prophets were able to preach the truth. Once you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you have chosen the best life. Whatever good impact you made in people’s life will give you a better life. That brings hope to live, because some people, when you have an encounter with them, you become hopeless. They will not give you hope again to continue living. Because, once you lost hope, you see, life becomes more difficult again. God bless you.
3. Your challenges since you were ordained as a Priest of Catholic Church?
The challenges are becoming so enormous. In fact, at the time, I decided to become a priest, the pressures came from my parents, brothers, sisters and even my relatives, that I should not think of becoming priest. My father was always barking at me in those days. My mother was always crying, that’s her own weapon, of trying to stop me. When I see her tears, I would tell her, I am not going to become a priest again. Now, even before my ordination, so many priests, became an obstacle in the seminary. In the seminary, I encountered hell before my ordination. In fact, there is one particular priest, whose name I will not mention here for the sake of security and prudence. He said, ‘if I become a priest, he will pull off his garment and stop being a priest’. Later on, God was not saying the same thing he was saying. God didn’t back him up. So, I later became a priest by 2011, and after that I began having many issues with the power that be in the state. It began with my own people (names withheld), and many people that thought they are demigods, and they said, it is either I stop saying the truth or I will be stopped being a Catholic Priest. This, they have tried severally, to the extent I have cried and asked God, why have Him abandoned me? To say the truth like these, and I will face all these troubles alone, but God always tells me, you are not alone, I am with you my son. And I have come to see and testify that God is still with me. Recently, the pressure on me is that, either I stop being a charismatic priest, or I should consider myself as any other thing than being a Catholic Priest, but my plea and appeal to the people of God and even to my authorities is that they should continue to pray for me and as well correct me fraternally whenever I make mistake, for nobody is above mistake. They said, I should tender my resignation letter to Rome, because, I am not in regret. I am not regretting being a priest, in fact, I am enjoying priesthood even though, everything around me is pointing towards the fact that I am not enjoying it. But I know John 16:33, says in the world, you are going to face persecutions, you are going to found tribulations, found even obstacles, but but in God, you are going to found joy, peace, because, Jesus Himself has conquered the world. For the fact that Jesus has conquered the world, I am telling you that, amidst all these tribulations, I am still very peaceful. I am still enjoying my priesthood. I will never use because of all these turbulences I am facing, and say, that I am regretting being a priest. I will keep on being a priest, I can’t resign being a Catholic Priest, and I will keep on being a priest of God in the order of Melchizedek of old. I am praying that the church authorities of my diocese will prayerfully scrutinize my charismatic life, to enable them reap the good treasures God deposited in my life as a Catholic Charismatic Priest. For I know all I do, are obviously the gifts of God, and not by my own making. In fact, to be a priest is a call of God not my own calling. Because even when we entered seminary, we were 64 in number but only 11 of us were ordained Priest in July 2nd, 2011. So, for me to be a priest is a divine arrangement. Despite all I am passing through, I am still happy. And I am telling those mounting pressures on me to resign, that I am not going to resign because nobody assigned me to be a priest. It is God that assigned me to be a priest. It is God who called me. So, I am telling anybody or group that is fighting me to take it easy with me because I don’t have the intention of fighting anybody.
4. Like how many people are preaching or mounting pressures on you to resign being a Catholic Priest, and Why?
Even some pastors from other churches are coming to me, telling me that I will make it better financially or otherwise, as an ordinary pastor staying on my own than caging myself with all these Catholic Church stuff. I told them that God knows why He called me into the Catholic Church and not to begin as a pastor for other churches, and that, my parents are all Catholic; even making it financially or materially is not my target because, Catholic Priesthood is all about rendering services to God and humanity. I won’t like to live out of the Catholic style. As the pastors of other churches are trying to tempt me or preach me to leave Catholic Church, and even some priests of Catholic Church are also advising me that since I am having an issue with the Church authorities, that I should resign being a Catholic priest. But I have told them that I can’t resign being a Catholic Priest because nobody appointed me except God. If God wants me to resign, He would have not made me a priest in the first place. Please, I am telling people advising me to resign that I can’t do it. It is because once one becomes a priest he is a priest forever. I must remain being a Catholic priest till I die.
5. Few years past, you were poured human feces in the church, what brought such attack on you Father?
In those days, one family by name Onwe Idenyi gave me about 23 plots of his land in his village, Egwudinagu Ishieke, because God used me to miraculously heal one of his sons, called Ikechukwu Onwe, so the man gave me, the 23 plots of the land and said, I should use it to establish a healing centre, an adoration centre where such work of God will also continue for others to get what they have gotten already. At a point, because the squabbles I am having with my Diocese, one Reverend father very popular in this state (name withheld) went and told them that I am no longer a priest even when it has not been established. He told them that I am no longer a Catholic priest. So, they came and said since I am no longer a Catholic priest, that the land is now belonging to them back again. They insisted on getting the land back from me. I told them that your father did not give the land to the Catholic Church of Abakaliki Diocese but to me. And I have already developed the site very well, and already living there. What will we do? I asked them. And they said as far as I am no longer a Catholic priest, that, they are going to take over the land again. I told them it is not all that easy. How will they pay me back for what I have already invested there. They took me to the Customary court at Randa, I won the case. So, when eventually they saw that the court was not favouring them, as for the judgement, they came in violence, poured human feces on me on one fateful Sunday day. They came with human feces and even with fuel and matches, one of them by name, Monday Onwe stupidly came with matches and fuel to even burn me up that day but God was not with them. God was never with them, Bible says that, they will come for one way but God will scatter them in seven ways, they were all scattered and put to shame that day. They couldn’t achieve their target. By God’s grace I was rescued that day, and the issue continued to linger and linger to when eventually, we went to police station, I was advised that I should go and apologize the Church’s heads, that Onwe Idenyi family is not even the people fighting me, that the fighting is coming from the church, the heads of Catholic Church. That, I should go and apologize to them, because, they are the one against me. I told them that I have not seen what I did to them wrong. I am only praying and saving people through the gifts God has given me. And I have never in one way or the other saying that I am not a Catholic priest. I have also gone to remit my offertory but they refused collecting it. So, I don’t know what else to do again. God bless you.
6. A report once had it that you have built a Church called Reformed Catholic Church, is this true Father?
My dear brother, I want to categorically say no to that. I never say or imagine anything like that in any of my ministrations. I never say that I am now on my own. I never say that I have established a church or ministry called Reformed Catholic Church. All those things are what one journalist (namewithheld) is being used to defame my character, to put a question mark on me as a Catholic Priest and till I die, I will not resign being a Catholic Priest. I don’t have any intention of opening a church called Reformed Catholic Church. And if you go to Egwudinagu Ishieke in Ebonyi Local Government Area where I have ministry and school, you can never see a signpost, that carries the name, Reformed Catholic Church. I still maintain that I don’t have an intention of opening a school, a ministry or a church called Reformed Catholic Church. I want to state it here that I will continue to remain in one universal Roman Catholic Church as a Catholic Priest. Thanks and God bless you.
7. 2020 is almost at hand, what do you have as the message and prayers for people especially for our leaders?
There is a famous slang that 2020 is going to be the best year especially here in Ebonyi State. So now, I also want to join my own mouth with other people to sound very optimistically that 2020 is going to be a better year for us. In fact, in one of the crusades, I had earlier before now, I prophesied that we are going to end the year 2019 with joy. And once it is ended in joy, we are going to enter another fresh year, with joy also, and joy as far as I am concerned, is not peripheral, it is not something on the surface. Joy comes from within, it doesn’t come from material things, it comes from inner-self. So, I prophesy that the people of God optimistically, things are going to be better in the year 2020. That the dried bone for our lives, is going to take flesh again. I told those having issues with their heads, God will open fresh doors, fresh breeze will come in, and they will begin to see peace with their heads. Because, it’s very difficulty for somebody to have an issue with his head and still, function very effectively. Therefore, I prophesy that God will open doors of peace for every man of God, to have peace with those that are supposed to be at the helm of the affairs of being a priest, or as a prophet of God. I prophesy peace to even Ebonyi State, that Dave Umahi himself, who is at the helm of affairs as far as the political post of this state is concerned will also be at peace more with Ebonyians. I know that many people did not found life very easy within the Christmas season. So many people could not even buy chicken, rice as usual, because, they said the state government did not pay them. I pray that 2020, Dave Umahi will have more money to pay workers and increase his assistance to the less privileged. In 2020, I pray that our state allocation will be fatter, so that it will be easy for the governor to combine his infrastructural development with human development. The people of God that are working with him will be happier with him, and he himself will also be happy with the people of God working with him. Because, I know he operates under the platform of Divine Mandate. So, if it is true that he is really operating on that platform, the people of God should be happier with him, working with him. They shouldn’t be seeing light only on the roads, they should be seeing light also in their respective families. They shouldn’t seeing water only on the roads, they should be seeing water also in the different homes and houses. I pray that God in 2020 will inspire Governor Dave Umahi to be able to go deeper into what people are yawning for and be able to carter for their needs, as he is doing in the infrastructural part of the state development. I also, prophesy that the sick in 2020 will receive their healings, because Isaiah 33:24 says that God Himself grants His people healing, in such a way that nobody among the people of God will say, I am sick again. I pray that the Healing God of Exodus 15:26 will grant healing to those who are sick in so many healing centres, so many healing homes; miracles are somehow beginning to dry up, the power of miracles is going to dry up because so many prophets are trying to do it in their own ways. I pray that God will direct His ministers in these 2020, once He directs them, healing miracle will become more manifested in a very big way that people of God will no longer be deceived again. People of God will come to believe God all the more, because once you go to the House of God, and what you are getting are genuine, you come to believe God all the more. You come to serve God all the more and not where you will go and buy all these fetish things, cocoanut, crude oil, I never see where God used crude oil to heal before, and even cocoanut. But in our time, you see people buying cocoanut, crude oil to be used in the healing homes of the present dispensation. So, I pray that in 2020, the prophets of God will become real. The Prophets of God will be truly revealed, so that God will talk to them one by one in the same manner He talked to Moses and prophets of the olden days. They heard God face to face, but in our time, things begin to change because we want to do it in our own ways. It seems if God is no long hearing us, I pray that in 2020 God will hear His prophets more. All prophets should listen to God so that when He talks to us we can hear him right and to pass the message without fear or favour. In 2020, I pray for academic development in Nigeria. There will be academic empowerment in Nigeria. The state government is trying, so far so good, we want the best from the state government this time around. So many people are doing it on their own but I know it is not easy for individuals to carry on academic development in the state and the country atlarge. The governments should really come in, they should know how to use our resources, to develop our people academically, Bible says in Hosea 4:6, that our people are perishing for lack of knowledge. Because people are languishin of the abject poverty of the mind, ignorance of the mind, that’s why, we are seeing what is happening in the country. People are dying because of the lack of knowledge. It’s said, knowledge is power, I stand on this point to prophesy open doors for knowledge and wisdom in 2020. And even those engaging on Private schools proprietorship, that God will give us wisdom to do it more selflessly, those opening schools here and there, should not only be ready of getting money enriching themselves, at the expenses of our children, but think of their wellbeing. What are they gaining in return when they pay this money to you as the school proprietor? What are they going home with, think of, are they becoming better children than the way they came. Some of them are being used and at the end they will get nothing. So in 2020, the school proprietors should be concerned on the wellbeing of their school children, so that we will be able to produce the children that can boldly face trends of our current dispensation. The contemporary issues are becoming more and more tough and if our students are not prepared in such a way they will be able to face whatever that faces them, I don’t think that life will make things palatable for the incoming generation. So my prophecy is all round, all encompassing, that God will come to assist us in the year 2020, so that even financially, people will be more empowered. It’s because once you are not empowered financially, you find life more difficult and terrible, then, so many people will start engaging themselves in terrible acts to make life pleasant. My prayer is that in 2020, life will be more easier for the people of God, so that, they will have no reason to engage themselves in one mess, one crime or the other. That is my prophecy and prayers for 2020, God bless you.