Wikky Eya, Lagos, and Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has described former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as bureau de change because of the mindboggling foreign currencies that reportedly exchanged hands at the recently held National Convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), before he emerged the party’s presidential candidate.
Regardless, he warned him not to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari if he is elected the president in 2019. He warned that the ruling APC may lose the next election if President Buhari doesn’t change certain things urgently.
“So let the will of God be done in Nigeria. It is like what I have been saying Buhari change or you will be changed”
Mbaka, who had in his new year eve message of 2015, predicted Buhari’s electoral victory over then President Goodluck Jonathan; said the President had all the human and material resources at his disposal to make the country better but rather chose to play ethnic, despotic politics by surrounding himself with people without vision and not inclined to his line of thought.
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He noted that the President has wasted a golden opportunity offered him by God and by implication has disobeyed God.
“What will it take you; change the Chief of Staff, change B, change C, change this and change that; even if it will take 20 Igbo men or 20 Yoruba men to change Nigeria; take all of them. Look at what (Chukwuma) Soludo did in the Central Bank; he has assured Nigeria and the whole world that there is nothing like bank collapse again.
“An Igbo man did this, why can’t Buhari take Soludo for the economic revival and revamping of Nigeria’s economy? And you are busy talking about corruption, playing game with the lives of Nigerians from the issue of Fulani herdsmen to Boko Haram to Jos killings. You said somebody stole, what did he steal?
“Someday, they said the government has spent trillions of naira on social investment scheme and I want to know who are the people they were spending the money on; the Vice President said they are giving N10,000 to small scale businesses and I asked, is this how they will transform Nigeria? You give somebody N10,000 for business, what type of business will N10,000 start?” he queried.
Mbaka advised Nigerian politicians to seek God’s wisdom in their dealings, stressing that they struggled for power at all cost because they lack wisdom.
“Somebody will have billions and want to take the one belonging to the public while hunger will be killing his people. Look at the type of money they shared during the primaries to the extent that they brought Bureau de Change. They said Buhari is change, but Atiku is bureau de change. They were sharing the money in dollars and it was going out in millions of dollars in Nigeria where hunger is killing people; where you don’t have food to eat.
“If they spend such monies to get ticket, how do you think that when they get into power they will rule, of course, they will first recover the money they have spent but the worst is that the money was not being shared to the poor,” he lamented.
Mbaka described the cost of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Expression of Interest and Nomination forms as outrageous; saying that if the leadership of the party had conscience, they would not have collected N24 million from people to obtain the forms. He added that a party with conscience would have returned the money to the aspirants instead of casting aspersions on them.
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“There are some people that sold their land to pay for this form because of the promise they were made. I don’t think these politicians were thinking of heaven that is why they are ready to kill anybody that stands on their way,” he said.
Still, the vocal priest raised fears that Atiku may not be able to solve the problems of Nigeria if he emerged victorious, as according to him, the problems of the nation were so enormous and challenging.
“If anybody is thinking that if Atiku becomes the President of Nigeria things will get better, ‘who born you’ because for this country to be good it is easier for a carmel to pass through the eye of a needle than this country to be good,” he said, urging that Nigerians must do their part to make Nigeria the nation of their dream.
He predicted defeat for the ruling party in the elections but said that there was still opportunity for change.
“There are no people that will develop this country that are not in Nigeria. We have people who will develop this nation; but our President left the same type of people who don’t have the same type of vision around him and everything they do is in your head.
After you are removed, they will bring people that will flog you because you messed up the opportunities because you didn’t listen to the word of God. You didn’t listen to the man of God you have and you were disobeying him.
The price of disobedience is disgrace,” he declared. He, however, stated that if Atiku had the opportunity that President Buhari has, he would have revamped Nigeria.
In his response, spokesperson of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Segun Sowunmi, said the 2019 general elections will be based on issues and as such, will not join issues with Rev. Fr Ejike Mbaka.
According to him, “We have taken the position that we will respect the clergy. We will respect all Nigerians, the leaders of the political class and we will even respect President Muhammadu Buhari and his campaign.
Therefore, we plead with all Nigerians that we focus on the issues before the nation and the issues, and agenda before the Nigerian nation is that we need an Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to become in charge of the country as he will be able to bring his private sector discipline into the running of government business such that he can open up the economy to serve and add value to everybody in Nigeria including the clergy.
And in doing that, part of the great care we must take is that the leaders of thought and religious leaders in the society must be encouraged to concentrate on the issues that help us to unite as a country.
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We have no other country to call our own than Nigeria. We call on all of them including Father Mbaka to please work with us and the PDP presidential candidate and ask questions where they need clarifications. Please do not allow us to run the country again into those things that would be difficult for us to manage. If there is no evidence as to what ever he meant by Bureau d’ change, it has nothing to do with us.
If he is insinuating about perhaps the innuendos and insinuations flying up and down, we take objections to that. Atiku Abubakar has been in the public space for a while as a senior civil servant, rising and giving a good account while in the Nigerian Customs Service.
He was vice president of Nigeria during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and he tried to contribute as much as he could within the limits and what is available as a vice president. The entire nation is aware of the huge contribution that he has made and since he left as vice president, he has continued to engage in political conversation in such a way that the issues that concern Nigerians have also concerned him.
They include issues like restructuring, sustainable development, getting a nation that all Nigerians can feel united, issues of progress and banishing poverty to the barest minimum and issues of reducing the misery of Nigerians to become the fun-loving people that they were, issues of national unity, religious tolerance among religious leaders including Father Mbaka.
We want to say by the grace of God and the help of Nigerians, we would run a campaign that will be issues-based. We must make sure that we refocus this nation to be less acrimonious and begin to enjoy the benefits of a united country.”