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Published On: Wed, Jan 7th, 2015

Father Mbaka and the pouring rain on the umbrella

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Father-Ejike-MbakasIt is not just raining. It is pouring on the umbrella, the insignia of the ruling party, PDP. It is leaking. It is leaking cats and dogs. The heavy downpour drenches those underneath it. It shows no sign of abating. Actually, each passing day brings forth fresh storm. I see this downpour turning into a cyclone. Nothing short of a huge miracle would save the umbrella from being swept away and shredded by the approaching hurricane in the coming weeks.

The not so latest typhoon came from unlikely quarters. It jolted all and sundry. It was all the more shocking because of the message and the messenger. Stand aside, Chief Obasanjo. There is a new kid on the block telling truth to power. By now, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, has become a household name nationwide. Father Ejike is a clergyman. He is a man of God. That bears stressing. He may be in this world, but ‘he is not of this world’. He made his mark on the pulpit saving souls and walking the straight and narrow. Most of last week, his fiery new year eve message was making the rounds in social media much like in the manner a doctor makes ward round every morning. In all known social media platform, Mbaka was ‘the main man’.

He is so because he treaded, barefoot, where angels ‘flew’ with circumspection. He literally went into the lion’s den with only his loincloth and a firm conviction that he was guided by the ‘holy spirit’.

Instantly, his message resonated coast-to-coast. Till this moment, some jaws are still on ‘ground zero’. I, for one, am still gawking. Citizens are still talking about his message. A catholic priest calling a spade by its name-a spade, must have been, truly, seized by the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church is not known for frivolities. It is also not known for dabbling into the mundane world of politics. At least not the kind of politics we do here where ‘stomach infrastructure’ makes otherwise sane men, lap dogs. This explains, partly, why Catholic Church pulled out of CAN led by the controversial Ayo Oritsejafor. It was an expression of discontent with the leadership openly viewed by some, of its overt partisanship in matters of the state. Ayo has been an unabashed ally of the leader of the Nigerian government.

Against all the restraints of the church, Mbaka shot from the hip. Depending on what side of the fence you are sitting, he is, currently, a hero and a villain concurrently. Still a third set, the most uncharitable, I would say, lump him in the class of double-dealers like Obasanjo, former president and notorious pretender.

Let me risk it. Let me rehash Mbaka’s New Year eve message. To cut to the chase, he lampooned the president, Goodluck Jonathan describing him and his government in unflattering colours. He accused the Commander-in-Chief of being an impostor who doesn’t walk his talk employing sly to scurry votes.

“During election, Jonathan will answer Azikiwe, Ebele and become an Igbo man and after election, the Ebele, the Azikiwe and Goodluck will vanish from his identity. Who is fooling who actually?” said Mbaka.

Six weeks earlier, the Reverend Father had played host to the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. He sang her husband’s praises. He was unequivocal-Jonathan is a performer and would have done better but for the ‘distractions’. He ‘endorsed’ the transforming leader for a second term.

This is the defence a clearly troubled and frantic ruling PDP is bandying to dismiss Mbaka’s scathing condemnation. This is in addition to Insinuations that the man of God has been ‘bought over’ by the opposition.

Enter the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta (MEND). Two short days ago, it endorsed Muhammadu Buhari, APC’s presidential candidate and PDP’s likely nemesis in the February polls. It is instructive to note that MEND is peopled by the President’s kith and kin. In 2010 when the first bomb to exploded in Abuja and was claimed by the terror group, Jonathan quickly rose to their defence. He said to the consternation of citizens that “MEND are my people. They are not terrorists. They didn’t do it’’.

MEND may be the president’s ‘people’ but in dismissing his ambition for another term, they acted like genuine Nigerians. Listen to them. “We re-state our disregard and lack of confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan. Rather than address the perennial issues in the country responsible for his administrations failures, he is concentrating government funds in a campaign of misinformation intended to hoodwink Nigerians who, unfortunately for him, are now wiser and smarter than he is.

“Goodluck Jonathan’s actions, utterances and arrogance prove that he is totally disconnected with the situation facing the ordinary Nigerian and completely out of touch with reality,” they said.

In the current edition of ‘Zero Tolerance’ an in house magazine of the EFCC, former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida famous for euphemism described his regime as peopled by ‘saints’ on the corruption perception index compared present times. Not a few concluded that it is a veiled reference to the barefaced ‘bounty hunting’ of the current regime.

This downpour shows no sign of abating for the PDP all right. Adamu Mu’azu, its national chair expressed frustration at the “use and dump” disposition of the Umbrella. Speaking at the inauguration of President Jonathan Campaign Team on Tuesday, the former governor of Bauchi state lamented the “baboon de work, monkey de chop” domineering tendency prevalent in the party.

And then, there is the Obasanjo “tsunami”. Two short days ago, he fired another salvo. He has been doing that often. He accused the Jonathan administration of frittering our foreign reserve. Since late 2013, the former president has been unsparing of the regime and the PDP. In the twilight of that year; he wrote the letter that signposted that he would-be in the trenches for “rofo rofo”. He has lived up to his billing as truly “shameless”.

The Presidential election is barely six weeks ahead and the ruling party is clutching at straws. It has lost most of its accustomed swagger. In previous elections, it bandied its usual haughtiness. This manifested in its diction. Then, its language was invariably full of bombast. The chicken may become home to roost, for the PDP.


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