There is an outpouring of anger and condemnation by Nigerians over comments by an outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, against Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Mbaka, during his weekly ministration service on Wednesday, said Obi would not be president of Nigeria in 2023 because he is a “stingy man who does not give out money to people”.
He also said until Obi returned to his Adoration Ministry to apologise for refusing to donate to the ministry when he was asked to do so, his ambition to become president of Nigeria would be fruitless.
But many Nigerians, across different regions of the country, have attacked the cleric, cautioning him not to meddle in politics.
A Facebook user, Chris Gabriel, described Mbaka’s comments as “unguarded.”
He said the cleric was attacking a man who did nothing wrong, while he (Mbaka) deliberately refused to comment on the failures of the governments in Nigeria.
“Donations to church should be free will, not forced. You, through your unguarded comments, brought this calamity we have as a government,” he said.
Another Facebook user, Umar Zibiri, condemned the cleric for demanding a “generous candidate” as president.
“Can’t he see where our borrow and share politicians have landed us? They take foreign loans and share the money,” he said.
“Nigeria is running on debt. Only Peter Obi is the answer,” Zibiri added.
Chijioke Johnson, who also commented on Facebook, cautioned the cleric to desist from making political remarks and face his priestly duties.
“Mbaka used his altar to campaign for Buhari and assured that Buhari is the messiah. That his prophecy actually became the opposite,” he said.
Adeleke Temitope, another Facebook user, said Mbaka was serving “his belly, not God”.
“Truly, the Lord will not allow his holy one to see corruption. But when a priest soaks his cassock in filthy things (for) pecuniary gain, he serves his belly, not God,” he posted.
Chukwudi Iwuchukwu, a social media influencer, said Mbaka’s message was “disturbing”.
“Nobody deserves that kind of insult and vitriol that came from his pulpit. The message is disturbing,” he said.
Iwuchukwu urged religious leaders to recognise their position in society and discharge their responsibilities with “tact and decorum.”
Aji Busu @AfamDeluxo said, “On the 07/09/2021 Peter Obi donated ₦100m to Bishop Shanahan Hospital of Nursing and Midwifery, Nsukka. Enugu State. Yet Mbaka has the efforntery to tag Obi stingy simply coz Obi refused to be emotionally blackmailed in 2018/2019 in his church.”
Reno Omokri also said, “Reverend Father Mbaka don buy market! At least they may leave me and face him!”
On his part, 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 Mbaka.”
Everest added, “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.
Blessed Uzoho said, “Even Mbaka couldn’t push Peter Obi to do what he doesn’t want to do even when he told him God was involved and related it with winning election. Peter stood on his principles. SHI SHI we won’t give. His tenacity and articulated saviness is 100%. Competence! #PeterObi4President2023”
Julius Jide added, “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.”
David Onyemaizu said, “I can only blame whoever takes religious leaders like Mbaka seriously. Here was a man that said that Buhari is the Messiah of the country. After they stopped greasing his palm, he stopped supporting Buhari. Only a [email protected] would follow what he says about Obi.”
Kayode Ogundamisi also said, “Mbaka was doing “fyne bara” to @PeterObi and Obi rightly told him ‘Show me a project to develop in your church, I no dey give shi shi”. On this one o #IstandwithObi Mbaka’s open solicitations is becoming an embarrassment to Catholics.”
Daniel Regha said, “Father Mbaka who said that “Buhari is God sent”, is now trying so hard to de-market Peter Obi cos Obi didn’t dance to his tune; It’s not surprising though cos he has been using his status to manipulate people & pursue his own self-interest. Mbaka has no credibility at this point.”