The ongoing controversy sparked off by the call by Enugu-based Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka that the electorate should vote out President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 14, 2015 presidential election has taken a fresh twist.
Hitting back at Mbaka, National Coordinator, House-2-House Network, a pro-Jonathan group, Prince Chidi Ibe, alleged yesterday that the priest was angry over his inability to secure oil blocks in the Niger Delta region.
But a socio-political group in South-East, Ndigbo Unity Forum, defended Mbaka, while berating Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Rt. Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, over his outburst.
Speaking in Abuja, Ibe said Mbaka, who, only a month ago, blessed the aspiration of President Jonathan to return to office in 2015, was now singing a new song because he was not happy with the government over his inability to secure oil block for commercial purpose.
He said: “Ordinarily, I will not reply when a clergyman has his own views, but I can categorically tell you that Father Mbaka has travelled severally in quest of oil block in Nigeria. I know he has not succeeded and I know that he is not happy that he is not getting it. So, has he been promised oil block by Buhari to categorically stand at the Adoration Ground and said Goodluck is a bad luck to Nigeria.
“I will not sit down and have Nigerians believed that Father Mbaka said because God sent him to say it. If he has never in his life stepped out to look for oil block from government such as that of Goodluck Jonathan and people that surrounds Jonathan, I would say, yes, he probably heard from God that the good luck he mentioned to Nigerians a month ago has now become bad luck to all Nigerians.”
He wondered why religious places would be turned into political grounds, where, according to him, only the highest bidders would get the voice of the prophet of God.
In a related development, the Ndigbo Unity Forum, a socio-political group in South-East, through its President, Augustine Chukwudum, has berated Bishop Chukwuma for alleging that Mbaka collected money from the opposition parties.
Chukwudum maintained that some religious leaders who were condemning Mbaka were guilty of hovering around Aso Rock to get gratifications from Mr. President, adding: “if Bishop Chukwuma is afraid when Mbaka said some religious leaders, like vultures, besiege Aso Rock to seek for one favour or the other, then, he should check himself and stop pointing fingers at an ordained man of God.
“We have been following political events in the country, especially in the South-East and we know who among the so called men of God that have been hobnobbing with politicians which Bishop Chukwuma is one of them. He cannot deny not attending almost every political gathering in the South-East and even beyond and I can bet you that Mbaka has never been seen anywhere in political gathering.”
He further declared that in as much as the group was not the mouthpiece of the embattled Fr. Mbaka, its duty also included protecting the integrity and image of Ndigbo, which he said had been battered by some Igbo politicians who went around for self-recognition.
“We are not speaking for Mbaka, but let it be said that what the man of God said was indisputable and nobody who has the spirit of God in him should attack him or even degenerate to the level of accusing a man of God of collecting money from the opposition. If the so-called men of God felt threatened by Mbaka’s message, they should repent and stop going around the seat of power begging for alms like beggars and sell their consciences,” he said.
On the stand of Ndigbo in the coming general elections, Chukwudum faulted the alleged proposed endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, adding that Ndigbo should not be cowed into believing in everything that came from the flanks of politicians whom he accused of selling their birthrights.
He said the group would continue to fight for unity of Ndigbo in the country by organizing seminars and workshops that would bring the Igbo together periodically to chart new course for Igbo survival and urged the people of the South-East to disregard any move by any group or groups to impose a choice on them but should go ahead to vote for any candidate of their choice. – The Sun