“When she came here, I told her to give me her number so I could give her messages, but thrice she refused. It was later she told one of the pastors with her to give me his number. So, before that message, I had called that number for two weeks but it was always the Personal Assistant to the pastor that picked the calls.”
Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillus Mbaka. (Sun Newspapers, 5th January 2015).
The wild jubilation that followed the latest outburst of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka from the camp of the All Progressives’ Congress is remarkable. I can only hope that my associates in that party that have always tried to persuade me to agree that religion & politics are two separate ideologies will understand why I will most likely not belong to that school of thought. The truth that they have made efforts to promote the comment of the cleric against President Goodluck Jonathan points to the greater truth that they themselves are dishonest because if there were not, they will have insisted religion stays away from politics irrespective of which candidate the clerics’ remark favored.
Who is Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka? To some he is a savior, to others he is evil but to me, I see him as a mortal on whom the Almighty have chosen to bestow some supernatural gifts. However, this doesn’t take away the truth that he is human who has a measure of both original & actual sins flowing in his veins. Two truths abound which I must tell about this cleric, the first of which is that he is human and cannot at the same time be superhuman. Being human, chances that he can exhibit attributes of double standards cannot be wished away. The second truth I must tell is a universal one which applies to every cleric no matter how supernaturally gifted they are – no clergyman enjoys a round-the-clock communication with the Almighty. Some times (if not most times), they are the mere humans they were before their encounter with the Almighty. It is on the strength of this that everything that is said or done by a clergyman or woman should not be adopted as the mind or position of the Almighty in a matter.
In 2010, shortly before the general elections. Dr. Ikedi Godson Ohakim (then incumbent of Imo State) was seeking re-election as governor of his home state. While undertaking the business of governance on certain had an encounter with a certain Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie. A vehicle in his motorcade had a minor accident wherein Rev. Fr. Eustace Okorie was involved. Even though I did not witness that event, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka it was who said and confirmed that after the said incident, security aides attached to the office of Dr. Ohakim emerged from his motorcade and at the order of Dr. Ohakim, descended on Fr. Eustace Okorie, flogged him, stripped him and went on to assault him in a dehumanizing manner.
Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka took deliberate steps to escalate this matter to the extent of composing a chant with which he instructed member of his flock of Imo State Origin to vote against Dr. Ohakim. He further urged the catholic community in Imo State to show solidarity with their faith by voting against “Onye anwa tili Father ife” (the fellow who ordered the assault against a priest – pardon my Anambra accent). Recent events will later reveal that Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka did not observe due diligence neither did he confirm that lie before taking sides, but like rams, his followers did not ask questions. They did not bother to confirm from any source in Imo stat if indeed Fr. Eustace was assaulted. They believed and swallowed the story. In partnership with their “father”, they bore false witness against Dr. Ohakim, slandered his character and killed his reputation.
Before Dr. Ikedi Ohakim was Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State wherein Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka plies his trade. In Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, the clergy man saw every evil but no good. Dr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime is considered a good example of visionary leadership, but I must admit that he only built on the legacies and foundation of his godfather – Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani. Throughout his tenure as governor, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka always had negative remarks to make about him. He always had negative prophesies to foretell. He never ran out of insults to hurl towards him. At a point he swore that should Dr. Nnamani be re-elected for a second tenure, he would renounce his priestly oath and remove his cassock but at the appointed time, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani not only got re-elected as governor, he went on to serve an entire term in parliament as senator. Does the Almighty lie?
Shortly after Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka called out President Goodluck Jonathan on account of non performance and bad luck, I stumbled on information that the APC gubernatorial candidate in Enugu State Okey Ezea is a major donor to the Adoration Ministries over which Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka presides. I have no plans to confirm this information, but I think this latest outburst is not an act of divine intervention. I honestly feel it’s a political stunt because I am aware there currently exists an unresolved matter of a N50M cheque the Imo state government (or governor) issued Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka (or the Catholic Community in Imo State) for the renovation of a cathedral which was returned unpaid by the paying bank. I am aware this incidence slighted Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and caused him to go viral against Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha. As he always did, he would head to his alter from where he releases pronouncements against his foes. On that same alter, he apologized to over the Fr. Eustace Okorie matter, admitted he was lied to (he didn’t say by who). He further prayed for and anointed Dr. Ikedi Godson Ohakim endorsing him as the next governor of Imo State come 2015. As it turned out, Dr. Ohakim lost the primaries of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Is the Almighty an author of confusion?
As an individual that has a remarkable capacity to critically think and scrutinize issues, I am not impressed that an individual at the level of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka will draw quick conclusions on a matter as sensitive as the performance of a sitting president without painstakingly consuming himself with facts and figures about the said performance. I see another Sanusi Lamido Sanusi any-where-belle-face kind of attitude here. If his grouse was on account of the cold shoulder he received from Dame Patience Jonathan when he requested her private telephone number on the occasion of her visit to his church wherein he loudly praised President Goodluck Jonathan, he could have opened and used other communication channels to reach her or the President. If prominent Enugu citizens as Dr. Ken Nnamani, Dr. John Nnia Nwodo, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chief Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Hon. Gilbert Emeka Nnaji, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu would decline to serve as links between him and the presidency then we must question the character of Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka.
The major conclusion I want to draw from this entire development is very simple. Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka is deeply pained. He did not imagine his “popularity” wasn’t sufficient to give him access to the presidency. He failed to reckon with the truth that politicians are exceptionally intelligent people who are careful about the company they maintain. Who wants loose cannon to associate with?
My one way advice to Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka is to the effect that he should not consider himself a friend of the opposition just yet because they have only tapped into the opportunity they have to promote him to his disadvantage. They have looked into their crystal balls and have come to conclude that in this priest they have seen another Nigerian that will perfectly take the place of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who clearly is ever in love with a microphone, with which he speaks now, thinks later and apologizes eventually.
Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis is the South West Zonal Director for Communication, Research & Strategy at the Peoples’ Democratic Party National Youth Frontier. He can be reached via @NonsoEzeani1