Father Mbaka was right | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Comment, Opinion

Father Mbaka was right

Posted: Apr 24, 2015 at 5:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tochukwu Ezukanma

Years back, men of God in Nigeria, for the most part, preached hell and heaven. They urged their congregants to live godly lives, so, as to inherit eternal life, in the hereafter. These days, the pastors, generally, preach prosperity. They exhort us to empty our pockets into theirs, in the name of offerings, tithes and seeds, and then, go home, and faithfully, wait on God for our financial windfall. They do not address public morality and do not make Christianity directly relevant to our political circumstances.

In contrast, Reverend Father Ejikeme Mbaka, from the pulpit, tackles issues of public morality and directs the Word of God to our political realities. In his intrepid and indefatigable crusade for social justice in Nigeria, he speaks out against the forces of greed and insensitivity in the Nigerian society. In a country where the power elite are accustomed to groveling pastors, and pastors shamelessly ingratiate the powers that be and mortgage their conscience for financial rewards, Mbaka’s messages have unsettled and unnerved many.

In his New Year message, he prophesied the electoral victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, in the March 2015 election. He said that the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, will lose the election because the Spirit of God had departed from him. Jonathan’s supporters, in the characteristic Nigerian tendency of picking quarrels with those that hold alternate views, pilloried him. But then, the APC candidate won the presidential election.

President Goodluck Jonathan did Nigeria a lot of good by conceding defeat after the election. With it, he secured the peace of the country and carved an honorable niche for himself in the annals of Nigeria. However, without a doubt, President Jonathan is a bad president. It is possible to excuse his inability to effectively lead our beloved complex and diverse country.  After all, leadership qualities, like courage, indomitable will, vision and powerful ego, are innate, not acquired. And, as he is inherently deficient of these qualities, he cannot, even, as a president, attain them, no matter how much he tried. But it is possible for him to be an appalling leader and a marionette of his political godfathers and masters, and still, respect the sensibilities of Nigerians. Unfortunately, he showed utmost disdain for the sensibilities of Nigerians.

For example, the president budgets nearly one billion naira annually as feeding allowance for his, and the vice president’s families. The president of the United States of America, the wealthiest nation in the world, earns $400,000.00 (about N80 million) annually. From his income, he feeds his family. The US government pays for food and other victuals only for public and diplomatic events at the White House. It is nauseating that in Nigerian, a country with social indexes comparable to the poorest and war torn countries of the world, the president and the vice president appropriate nearly N1billion (more than 12 times the entire income of the president of the USA) annually as feeding allowance.

In a country where about seventy percent of the population lives below the poverty level and government employees are, sometimes, owed up to six months’ salary, the Nigerian Oil Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, spent public funds to the tune of more than N10 billion for her personal air travels. Subsequently, she defied the National Assembly and successfully evaded its probe into that her mindless misuse of the people’s money. We can characterize her actions as corrupt, shameless, remorseless and lawless. But what is it about a president that tolerated such mindless waste of public funds by one of his ministers and encouraged her defiance of the national assembly? He has no respect for public opinion because he cares nothing about the feelings of Nigerians.

The Nigerian Immigration Service short-listed 586,000 applicants for about 5,000 jobs and gathered them, in their tens of thousands, for recruitment tests, at different stadia in the country. Twenty three of them, including four pregnant women, died, and many others were injured in the ensuing chaos and stampede. Ordinarily, 586,000 applicants do not get shortlisted for about 5, 000 jobs. Usually, the applications of such a large number of applicants are evaluated, and a manageable number of them short-listed for the available jobs. But, as each applicant was bringing N1, 000.00 “application fees”, the more the number of shortlisted applicants the more money that will accrue to the Interior Minister, Abba Moro, and his business and political cronies.

It was the minister’s greed, negligence and crass disregard for the welfare of the job applicants that caused the deaths. Abba Moro is criminally culpable of manslaughter. He should have been held responsible for the deaths, and punished – relieved of his ministerial post, arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Lamentable, President Jonathan retained him as minister, which is grossly unfair and most insensitive to the susceptibilities of most Nigerians. In addition, it demonstrated lack of compassion for the pains and sorrow of the injured job seekers, insulted the memory of the twenty three dead job seekers, and showed utter contempt for the grief of their bereaved families.

Why would the Spirit of God not depart from such an administration? Why should any one with the unction of God not rebuke such an administration? It is the refusal by men of God to severely criticize the greed, arrogance, impunity, lawlessness and contempt for human lives of the Jonathan administration that is a mortal sin.


•Ezukanma, wrote in from Lagos

0803 529 2908, maciln18@yahoo.com