By Barr. Ikechukwu Maximus Ugwuoke
Press Statement and rejoinder issued by AMEN SUPERNEWS in reply to the widespread attacks on the Ministry’s Spiritual Director, Rev Fr. C. E. Mbaka and his 2015 New year Message titled “From Goodluck to Badluck” which he delivered at the early hours of 1st Jan. 2015 during the 31st December 2014 Night programme
We have observed with great interest the burning issues stemming from the message of our beloved Priest, Rev Fr. Mbaka in his 2015 New year message of night of 31st December 2014 titled “From Good Luck to Badluck” and all the appendages, distortions, analysis, reactions, criticisms, insinuations, postulations and comments it has elicited from the mass and social media, and from every nook and crannies of the country.
We need to point out first and foremost that the said message was not an address, an oration or a comment from the Revered priest of God but part of the sermon/ ministration he delivered during the all important Holy Mass of that night. The said message doesn’t need interpretation as such as it is a message delivered before a ground-sinking multitude numbering about a million that gathered for the ministry’s annual 31st Night prayers ritual. Like all other ministrations Fr. Mbaka delivered at every Sunday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s programme of the ministry, the message is in a video tape for all who care to listen. It even found its way to You Tube and social media in matter of minutes after he delivered it.
It beats our imagination that some persons who had the privilege of listening to the message are twisting the facts of what he said; even those who are feasting on the gullible distortions of Fr. Mbaka’s detractors make unholy comments, disparaging remarks while some sycophants cashing in on the opportunity to whip unwholesome sentiments, indulge in polemics and inflammatory speeches for some selfish ends.
The postulations that Fr. Mbaka had endorsed President Jonathan for a second term in Nov. 2014 during the visit of the first lady only to turn around in a month later to preach against him.
It is a fact that first lady visited the Adoration Ministry and the Revered priest did pray for her and handed over the presidential ambition of Jonathan to God. It is important to point out that this event took place during the Ministry’s Harvest and Thanks Giving programme which was already fixed by the ministry without any predication on the visit of the First Lady. So the event of that day was not solely designed for a prayer session for Jonathan’s 2015 ambition. The meeting session of the first Lady and Adoration ministry was concluded at the adoration ground before even Fr Mbaka commenced his Holy Mass which was the highpoint of the events after the first lady had taken her leave.
Few days after the visit of Mrs Jonathan, there were widespread speculations that the first lady has bought over Fr Mbaka with millions of naira to support her husband’s presidential ambition. Some persons for reasons best known to them have continued to peddle the insinuation that the first lady gave Fr Mbaka millions of Naira to play the piper for President Jonathan. This insinuation has been notorious among the church leaders and critics whose disagreeing stance with Fr Mbaka is understandable before now.
For instance, in a statement credited to the Anglican Arch Bishop of Enugu, in The Daily Sun of 6th January 2014, the archbishop said, “It was unfortunate that the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, had visited Mbaka’s Adoration ground, where she gave the priest (Fr Mbaka) N5 million and Mbaka eulogized the President, urging him (Jonathan) to continue in his good works without fear or favour… Fr Mbaka should declare to the world how much he has collected from the opposition to say all he said against Mr President.”
We assert that all the donations made to the ministry during the Harvest and Bazaar program were recorded by the Bazaar committee and the list does not indicate any financial donation from the first lady neither did she make any private or public pronouncement of any financial donations at the event. Fr Mbaka in his subsequent outings had impressed it that the first lady did not give him any money neither did he ask her for money as his anointing cannot be merchandised.
We challenge Arch Bishop Chukwuma and the propagandists of this speculation to substantiate their claims. If they are the ones that received such monies on Fr Mbaka or the Ministry’s behalf it may interest us to know. The above statement of the Arch Bishop can only come from a business oriented Clergy who sees financial gratification as a condition for fighting a cause. This obviously explains the reason for his whipping up inciting comments on Fr Mbaka against Jonathan when he said “What Mbaka had done is very much inflammatory and disgraceful against Mr. President.” There is a common cliché that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, Nigerians know Bishop Chukwuma by his antecedents and what he is seeking for in his comments on this issue.
We adopt intoto the reaction of the Ndigbo Unity Forum, a socio-political group in South-East, through its President, Augustine Chukwudum, who berated Bishop Chukwuma for alleging that Mbaka collected money from the opposition parties. In a recent report in the Nigeria Citizen of 7th January 2015, Chukwudum had 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.” We add further that instead politicians flock to him.
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.
Now back to the issue of the 31st Night message of Fr Mbaka vis-à-vis his much talked about earlier encounter with and support for the Jonathan, we wish to state that Fr Mbaka stands as an Oracle of God. Those who have had the privilege to stay close with him will attest to the fact that he is one Priest whose message at all times are prompted by the Spirit of God, a voice he harkens to with total submission no matter whose Ox is gored. His message on 31st night would not have been a surprise to those who practice scriptural Christianity. Those who ask the question if Fr Mbaka was not contradicting himself in the message may have missed the point in surmising that Fr Mbaka is controversial or that his message amount to a double standard. His ministration was a Divine utterance which no Human wisdom including that of the Messenger can fathom. It will continue to be a simply complex and unsolvable arithmetic for his critics and the nation. The message is compressive enough on its source, and the whys and needs no extraneous interpretation. At the very beginning of the message he had said, “Listen, when you go home, tell anybody you see that from the oracle of the Holy Spirit, we are announcing change… May the Holy Spirit help me to vocalize what he has shown to me while I was waiting on him to give me a message for my people? I’m worried about the future of you my children. ”
Instances abound in the scriptures where real prophets of God said one thing at a time and a direct opposite of it at other times according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. In 2nd Kings 20 the same God that asked prophet Isaiah to announce the death of Hezekiah in verse 1 sent back the same Isaiah in verse 6 to tell the same Hezekiah that He will let him live fifteen years longer . Again, the same Jesus who in Mathew 16:18 told Peter “you are a rock, and on this foundation I will build my church” turned around in verse 23 of the same Chapter to tell Peter “Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, these thoughts of yours don’t come from God but from human nature”. The same Samuel who in 1st Samuel 10:1 took a jar of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head, kissed him and told him the Lord anoints you as ruler of his people Israel came down to Chapter 15 verse 23 to tell Saul that God has rejected you as the King and went down to Chapter 16 to anoint David a King.
If these instances are from the scriptures which Fr Mbaka and majority of his Christian Critics profess, it is either that Fr. Mbaka’s critics on his 31st night message are not true Christians or that they are myopically strait jacketed in their criticism or that they may have allowed indulgence in polemics to becloud their reasoning.
The 31st night Message of Fr Mbaka may not have gone down well with some people who are ardent supporters of Jonathan including Fr Mbaka himself who in the same message did admit “I love President Good Luck Jonathan and I used to be his ardent fan”. Fr Mbaka stands as a voice for posterity which cannot be cowed or calmed even by his own sentiments or any consideration during his ministrations, an indication that he is a microphone in the hand of God whose voice is heard and history will forever remember him as such. That singular message of 31st night yielded more credence to Fr Mbaka as a true man of God. Non among his critics had stood up to challenge the substance of the message from the beginning to the end as being untrue, mendacious or lie. The insinuations that Fr. Mbaka is a controversialist are a fallacy that begs the question whether what he uttered from the pulpit are hard or verifiable facts, this should have been the main subject of focus.
If out of supposed controversial postulations, truth is established, one begins to wonder if the controversy in the postulation would not have been a mirage. In fact ,in one of the comments made in reaction to this raging issue on the internet, Sunday Simeon Ogunyemi Blessed posted, “My take on Rev Father Mbaka’s x-ray of GEJ administration :Now, I know God has left a remnant among his servants that is fearless and bold like Elijah. I will rather prefer to nickname him Rev Father Elijah. He is the type of man of God we need in Nigeria for now. He should be praised for delivering God’s mind not like the chop chop pastors, reverends, overseers, sub-overseers, laity and the rest that parade themselves at the corridors of power just to take a bite from the ill-gotten national cake. I congratulate the congregation of Rev Father Elijah for he must have been feeding them the truth of the word of God before this national outing. Such Rev Fathers must be held in high esteem. God can’t do without reserving some servants for himself when majority of his servants are turning their back to the truth. Ride on Rev. More anointing on you in Jesus name”.
Assuming but not conceding that Fr Mbaka’s 31st night message was a politico-socio-economic speech, he had paid his dues to national growth and economy in terms of his contribution in solving the Government abdicated social responsibility of job creation and care for the less privileged going by the multitude of Nigerians who are beneficiaries to his Charity, and that qualifies him like any other Nigerian to hold such views without being subjected to any fierce attack or threats. He has the intrinsic fundamental right to freedom of expression as a Nigerian Citizen as guaranteed under Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the relevant Article under the Africa Chatter on Human and Peoples Right and Universal Declaration on Human Rights. His message didn’t go outside the confines of these rights.
Similarly, in a news report credited to this reporter, Doris Obinna in The Daily Sun of 5th January 2014 Titled ‘Fr Mbaka’s face off with Nnamani, Ohakim and Okorocha’ she said: “Those who say Rev. Fr. Mbaka is controversial may not be exaggerating. The preacher is always at the centre of controversy, especially in matters involving government officials”. This statement is simply a misconception of Fr Mbaka’s stance as an epitome of the conscience of the masses against oppression, evil governance and social justice. If perhaps the postulation was intended to debate on the potency of the Prophetic decrees of Fr Mbaka, we need not say more than to ask the writer to apply from the archives of our innumerable records, the verifiable testimonies of People whom God through Fr Mbaka’s prophetic decrees and ministration had raised from death, conceived in their barren situations, had their sight, auditory and nervous senses restored, and performed many unbelievable miracles, signs and wonders in their lives.
Another unfortunate and spurious allegation on the 31st night Message of Fr. Mbaka was reported by the Leadership Newspaper of 5th Jan. 2015, and it reads: “LEADERSHIP gathered that the Catholic priest was nudged by the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria to prophesy that the re-election of President Jonathan would spell disaster for the country. A usually reliable source said that for some time now, the Catholic community has been nursing grudges against the president following insinuations that he has been parleying with the Anglican Church, while neglecting the Roman Catholic Church. President Jonathan is said to be an Anglican. It was gathered that the leadership of the Catholic Church choose Fr Mbaka to make the statement given the fearless way he had spoken out against oppressive regimes in the past, which nearly cost him his life during the administration of former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani, after assassins shot him at close range”.
We state however that the above postulation no doubt is a calculated attempt to cause a riffle between Fr Mbaka and the Leadership of Catholic Church in Nigeria and or the Anglican church, and it is a sorry situation that some of these Church Leaders could easily fall prey to such machinations. The insinuation is as baseless as it is devoid of any logical reasoning. Fr Mbaka is merely a Catholic priest, and not even among the Leadership of Catholic Church perse which comprise of the Bishops and Cardinals. If his message was orchestrated by the Leadership of the Catholic Church as alleged, why then did some respectable Leaders of the Catholic Church distance themselves from Fr. Mbaka’s message in later reports such as the statements made by Bishop of Abuja Metropitan, Cardinal John Onaiyeka in This Day Newspaper of 5th January 2015? Would the message not ideally have come from either one of the Catholic Bishops or the Cardinal? The fact remains that Fr Mbaka is not, has never been and will by God’s grace never have the body of Esau and the voice of Jacob. He didn’t say he was speaking for the Church Hierarchy but from the Oracle of the Holy Spirit. The issue of the Church Hierarchy disowning him is not necessary at that.
Similarly, another spurious allegation was reported in the same Leadership newspaper and Osun Defenders Newspaper of 5th January 2015 and it reads “However, it was also gathered that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), had sent a powerful delegation to Enugu on December 31, 2014, to woo Fr Mbaka to support his presidential ambition. A source close to the meeting said Fr Mbaka’s speech came few hours following the meeting with Buhari’s delegation”
The above postulation like the previous ones is spurious invention of mischief makers. Need they go outside Fr Mbaka’s message to decipher the reason for his sermon when they are all contained in his said message? Did Fr Mbaka not say in the same message that he has never met Buhari? Could such a high-powered delegate meeting with Fr Mbaka have held without any mention of whom the delegates are and the date, time and venue of such? We challenge the Newspapers to come forth with answers to these vital questions.
Conclusively, in the Nigerian Citizens report of 7th January 2014, the, National Coordinator, House-2-House Network, a pro-Jonathan group, Prince Chidi Ibe has alleged that Fr Mbaka was angry over his inability to secure oil blocks in the Niger Delta region and that was the reason for his turning against Jonathan.
This assertion is a claim not backed up with any empirical evidence and coming from someone who has no locus standi to issues relating to allocation of oil blocks in Nigeria. It is but a cheap orchestrated and sycophantic lie by a meddlesome interloper seeking undue government attention and recognition of his group, judging by where the maker of the statement is coming from.
In the face of the raging controversy and unwarranted attack on the 31st Night sermon of Fr Mbaka we respect the views of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a reaction signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh as expressed in the Daily post of 4th January 2015 where he advised supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan to desist from attacking Rev Father Ejike Mbaka. He said: “I want to appeal to some of these online support persons and/or groups to immediately stop and cease all attacks on Rev. Fr. Mbaka. The South-East being a strong Catholic and Christian strong hold will not condone a campaign against a Priest. Besides, if you are truly a child of God, please do know that a mockery of a recognized symbol of God’s authority is unacceptable even where we totally disagree with his message”.
This is the kind of statement and attitude we expect Nigerian’s to adopt. Attacks on Fr Mbaka will not make his message less potent or truthful. It is but a philosophical argumentative strategy of one attacking the maker of a statement when one lacks the fact to challenge the statement. Nigerians should face the message and leave the messenger alone. Since it is God’s message to him that he had prophesied, those who claim that God speaks to them too have the right to tell Nigerians what God had told them and let Fr Mbaka and his calling be. History will tell who has the true message
For and on Behalf of AMEN Super News.