Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Enugu-based Catholic priest and Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has come under severe attacks by Nigerians for describing Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as a “stingy man.”
The fiery priest had during his sermon taken Obi to the cleaners, boasting that he would not win the presidential race because of stinginess.
Mbaka who claimed to have played a key role in Obi’s reinstatement as Anambra State Governor after his impeachment by the state lawmakers, said that if Obi failed to come and apologize to him at the Adoration ground, he would fail in his presidential project.
He said that those supporting Obi “are wasting their money,” claiming that an old man is preferable as President to a stingy young man.
According to him: “A stingy man, that cannot give people his money, with this hunger ravaging the land, and you are saying he is the one you want. You want to die of hunger? Are you people insane? Where is the Holy Spirit?
“It is now that Atiku is seriously contesting for President; now that he is contesting without Peter Obi; it is now that he is serious.
“We want somebody that is serious. Unless Peter comes here to kneel, if he becomes president, he will close down this ministry. What we are doing is spiritual.
“Listen, a good old man is better than a young wicked man; Peter Obi is going nowhere as far as God lives. If Igbos want a representative, it is not someone like Peter Obi.
“I should not have talked but I saw my video going round everywhere as if Fr. Mbaka wholeheartedly came out and apologised.
“No, I didn’t apologise wholeheartedly, it was out of duress. I had to obey my Bishop. In obedience I had to; it is not of my volition. I did it because I am a Catholic priest, my Bishop said, do it, my own is ‘Yes my Lord.’
“I did not say he (Obi) is a bad man; I said he is a stingy man. A hungry man wants someone that is generous; the man has so much money, but he is ‘I, me, myself.’ But that money will not be useful to him. I am very happy now that I have spoken out. That apology is a poisonous curse against Peter Obi.
“If he is wise he should have come here after that apology to say he is sorry but he waited. Anybody supporting him is wasting his money, he is going nowhere,” Mbaka said.
But peeved by Mbaka’s uncomplimentary remarks about Obi, Nigerians descended on the Catholic priest via their social media handles.
Some of the commentators accused Mbaka of tagging Obi a “stingy man” because he (Mbaka) could not “blackmail Obi emotionally.”
They warned Mbaka to steer off politics and concentrate on his his pulpit calling.
Some of the commentators include Aji Busu @AfamDeluxo who wrote: “On the 07/09/2021 His Excellency, Peter Obi donated ₦100m to Bishop Shanahan Hospital of Nursing and Midwifery, Nsukka. Enugu State. Yet Fr. Mbaka has the effrontery to tag Peter Obi stingy simply because Peter Obi refused to be emotionally blackmailed in 2018/2019 in his church.”
Another fan of Obi, Everest, wrote: “Mbaka is wrong. Peter Obi is a prudent man. Does not believe in wasting public funds. He is not a stingy man. What we need now is a prudent individual. We have a terrible spending problem. Printing money like there’s no tomorrow. Inflation is now at 17.1%. Think am.
Similarly, even Reno Omokri who recently said he preferred Atiku to Obi wrote: “Reverend Father Mbaka don buy market! At least they may leave me and face him!”
Pooja said, “I’m not a fan of religious men putting their mouths in politics. Though they have the right because of the complex situation when it comes to religious matters in Nigeria, they should just stay off it. No one will back Father Mbaka.”
Similarly, Julius Jide wrote, “Being my pastor, priest, Spiritual leader etc doesn’t necessarily make you smarter than me. I won’t challenge your utterances, but I’ll definitely not believe or do it cos you’re standing on the altar in white. Mbaka is bad news both to Igbos and the Catholic church.”