Says Quarrel Family Affair
We’ll Expose You to Vatican, Pope – APC
Mbaka Asked for Contract as Compensation for Support – Presidency
Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is getting the kicks out of the ongoing bickering amongst the ruling All Progressives Congress, the presidency, and the controversial Catholic priest and spiritual director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN) Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka over the cleric’s call for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari for failure to tackle insecurity in the country. The PDP said mockingly, “We are not interested in their in-fighting; it’s a family affair”.
Recall that ahead of the 2015 and 2019 general elections, Fr. Mbaka had supported President Buhari, then candidate of the APC, and predicted his victory. He had also visited him at the Presidential Villa after his swearing-in. However on Thursday, in a stunning volte-face, Mbaka came out with a damning verdict on the president’s performance, especially in respect of the unprecedented insecurity in the country, and called on him to resign or be impeached.
But in its caustic response, the presidency accused Mbaka of turning against it because he “asked for contracts as compensation for his support” during the two elections which was not obliged him. The APC also fired back at the fiery Catholic priest in a tone that smacks of blackmail, describing his call on Buhari to resign as “ungodly” and threatening to expose “his person and his sources of inspiration” to the Vatican and the Pope.
Taking umbrage at President Buhari in his sermon on Thursday at the Adoration Ground, Fr. Mbaka said “How can people be dying and the chief security officer of the country would be sitting down without making any comment. Gunmen attacking people everywhere. Buhari should have resigned honourably following his failure as a leader. Let me tell you that if it were in a civilised country, President Buhari would have resigned by now. So, it is amazing that he has chosen to sit tight while people are dying daily.”
He noted that “Nigerians are crying because there’s no security in the country. The National Assembly should impeach the President if he doesn’t resign.” He warned that if they failed to unseat President Buhari, “something worse than what they can never imagine” would happen to them.
While cautioning that the nation could not continue this way, Mbaka declared that “Enough has to be enough. There is time for everything.” Praying for God to change the hearts of Nigerian leaders, he wondered how someone could become a billionaire with the commonwealth of the people.
Also condemning the activities of killer herdsmen, he urged Christian leaders to pray for divine intervention. “I plead that church leaders should understand me as a messenger of God and stop attacking me. When gunmen begin to strike inside the church, they will begin to kill one man of God or the other or even members,” he stated.
Firing back at Fr. Mbaka, the presidency in a statement Friday night signed by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, alleged that Mbaka recently “asked for contracts as compensation for his support” to the party during the two elections.
According to Shehu, “An outsider distilling the avalanche of verbiage will be surprised that after supporting the President two times to win the Presidency, Father Mbaka has made a complete U-Turn, preposterously asking President Buhari to resign or be impeached.
“Here is the point of departure: Father Mbaka asked for a meeting, and to the shock of presidential aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. The President graciously allowed them in, and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support.
“Anyone familiar with President Buhari knows that he doesn’t break the laid down rules in dealing with contracts or any other government business for that matter. He requested the appropriate authorities to deal with the matter in accordance with laid down rules.
“Inside the Villa, discretion prevailed, that if those pictures and requests were made public, the followers will turn against the religious leader. None of it was released. Now, this is what is eating Father Mbaka.”
However, reacting to the macabre drama, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, who was guest on Democracy Today, a current affairs programme on the African Independent Television, AIT on Friday night, taunted the feuding parties, suggesting that the party could not be bordered about their crisis, and advised them to go and sort it out.
According to Ologbondiyan, “For us, I just mentioned to you and to Nigerians that this government thrives on blackmail. It’s a family fight. So, it is not for us in the Peoples Democratic Party to come and jump or dabble into their in-fighting, so, let them sort each other out. However, my advise for Mallam Garba Shehu is that he should stop dressing President Muhammadu Buhari in borrowed garbs. Nigerians have seen him. Anybody understands the kind of governance that they run, so all these issues of the president is like this, he should stop it because Mr. President’s body language has not demonstrated that in any manner. It has not demonstrated the borrowed garbs that they are dressing him in, and that is the absolute truth. So, we are not interested in their in-fighting; it’s a family affair. They should go and sort it out”.
The APC in its statement on Friday, signed by deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena said Mbaka’s call constituted a threat to democratic rule in the country and threatened to report him to the Pope if he continues to “cause disaffection” for the government.According to Nabena, the priest who is supposed to use “all known spiritual means of averting crisis” is rather “threatening a democratically elected government for his own personal benefit while pretending to be speaking for the people”.
The APC said “One will wonder whom Father Mbaka is emulating because the Lord Jesus Christ did not threaten to bring down the government during His own time. In fact, Jesus Christ obeyed and honoured constituted authority. That’s why he paid his tax. We are calling on Father Mbaka to concentrate on his spiritual calling and stop speaking like politicians who it is obvious he has been dining and wining with.
“If Mbaka has found another political ally, it is better to leave a political message for politicians. Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to either resign or be impeached because of the current challenges, is ungodly. Father Mbaka should not, however, take his luck too far because there is a lot to tell the Vatican and the Pope about his person and his sources of inspiration”.
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