Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
In less than 36 hours after he publicly promised to rise to the challenge of addressing the crisis facing the country, Enugu Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, on Saturday engaged in a sudden volte-face dismissing media reports that he attacked President Muhammadu Buhari over the hardship presently being faced by Nigerians.
The priest was reportedly quoted as having asked the president to buckle up or risk being thrown out in 2019, insisting that Nigerians are dying of hunger.
But in a statement he issued through his spokesman, Barr Maximus Ike Ugwuoke, the cleric rather accused former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of being responsible for the myriads of problems facing the country.
Mbaka maintained that he didn’t attack Buhari but told him the situation of things in the country and as well suggested ways out.
He stated: “The news headline is not only sensational but also a censorious media colouration and hype of the message of the cleric titled ‘Bless and Be Blessed’ for whatever ends.”
While admitting that he lamented the level of hunger and suffering in the country, the priest said it was followed by another message where he explained that Buhari was not responsible for the situation but the previous administration.
He declared that the “Bless and Be Blessed” message that was misunderstood was followed by a message titled “Mega Change of Conditions”.
According to him, the second message where he absorbed the President of blames over the hunger situation in the country read:
“There is sword that is moving about in the country. People are dying like flies. The sword of hunger is eating the land. And as I have told you this is just the beginning. If anybody is telling you it is going to be well very soon that person is deceiving you. This is because many of us were among those that were alive during the years of the past government. The past PDP government was a grasshopper and locust to Nigerian. The past Government was a disaster to the land of Nigeria; the past government was cancer to this country. There is no need trying to cover their incalculable and iniquitous mess. If you don’t feel it now, you will feel it later.
“The impact of their horrific mess is yet to be felt. It was a regime where hooliganism became a political slogan; where looting became the order of the day; where the neglect of youths became a pattern of administration. The result is what we are passing through now. Hunger is everywhere; the hunger was created before this new government came in. Buhari is not the maker of the hunger.
“The hunger was created during the Jonathan PDP administration but Buhari should abate the long procrastination, bureaucracy and slow methods in tackling it.
“Understand it very well. People will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Buhari is just an agent of change. The money in our treasury was nothing to write home about before this new regime came. The country was in an embarrassing mess.
“Apart from the petroleum that we sell and get money, what other means of foreign exchange do we have? The foundation of the Nigerian economy is oil which has now collapsed and the foundation once destroyed what will the just man do? Psalm 11:3. The past administration did not prepare this administration for this season. That is why the sword has risen. Many will die by this sword but there will be survivors.
“That is why I have been saying and I keep on saying that the past administration should publicly come to apologize to the Nigerians. They should not be foolhardy. They should not continue to perpetrate this type of iniquitous attitude planning about 2019 election for them to continue from where they stopped. All these years of Jonathan, nothing happened in Niger-Delta specifically to be recorded in the annals of history. What a shame? What an embarrassment. The place where the oil has been coming from remained underdeveloped under a man from the same soil. If you go to Niger Delta today you will cry. But what worries me is that our people are good in shifting blames.
“Somebody entered your kitchen carried your pot of soup, enter your store and farm raked everything in the store and farm and ran away. And another person enters the kitchen where there is no pot at all and you want the person to turn the kitchen into a magical kitchen that will produce a magical pot and a magical soup, which soup?
“I am just telling president Buhari that people are hungry because he cannot not come to the street like me and notice people’s feelings. But Buhari is not the author of the hunger. The past government planted the tree of hunger and they want to come back to water it. If it is in a developed country by now from the Senatorial to the reps to the governors, all who participated in the last administration should have resigned with apologies to our youths, otherwise the youths one day will begin to stone them.
“They will soon confuse you that present governments don’t want to feed you, feed you with what? It will surprise the whole Nigerians to know that even after Buhari was a petroleum minister and a military president of the country, he had no oil bloc. Is it not a shock? Don’t you hear the quantum of money that is being recovered from one person? Buhari just came as a redeemer. I don’t know if the people of this country are hypnotized.
“How can we be fighting somebody who is fighting for us? Apart from this Buhari, how can somebody talk to these political juggernauts and tell them to bring back what they have stolen? it is only a Beniah personality like Buhari that can enter into the cave and catch a lion and kill a lion in a snow season and come out. The president needs support. He doesn’t know where to begin because there are many holes dug for him by the past administration, and they carried the sand away expecting him to cover the holes with what?”.
More to follow