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In the count down to the 2011 general elections, the controversial catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, waxed a song with the following lyrics: “Onye Aha Kuru Father Ihe, Ogaghi Achi Anyi Ozoo!” (That fellow who beat up a Reverend Father will not rule us again). Fr. Mbaka, an indigene of Enugu state, composed the song for a group of politicians in Imo state who were opposed to the reelection of the then governor, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, for a second term. The song came to further a certain allegation – by Ohakim’s opponents – that he flogged one Reverend Father Eustace Okorie. Of course, the story is too well known to deserve repeating here.
Three years after, however, Fr. Mbaka waxed another song, recanting the allegation that Ohakim flogged Father Okorie. At a session in his Adoration Ministry ground in Enugu, sometime in October 2014, the cleric apologized to Ohakim for joining politicians to accuse him falsely. According to him, he was mislead. The video of that song and apology can still be accessed on Youtube.
Still on the same Imo state, a quarrel arose between Fr.
Mbaka and a section of his colleagues – in the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province.
The matter was over a dud cheque of
million said to have been issued to the province by the then governor of the
state, Rochas Okorocha. At one of his ministrations in his Adoration Ministry
ground in Enugu, Father Mbaka raised the issue and like in the case of Ohakim,
made another song and dance of it. Surprising, however, his fellow priests in
Imo hauled invectives on him, asking him to mind his own business. As a matter
of fact, the issue arose amid speculations that Mbaka and Governor Okorocha
have fallen out of favour with each other in spite of the role he played in the
emergence of Okorocha as governor in 2011.
On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Father Mbaka sang yet another song on Imo state. This time it is about the dispute over the governorship seat in the state and a matter that is in court. According to reports, Mbaka, while giving his New Year message during a session at his Adoration Ministry ground in Enugu, told his congregation that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state, Senator Hope Uzodimma, will dislodge the incumbent governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Below is a verbatim reproduction of what the clergy man reportedly said: “Many things are going to happen in Nigeria in 2020 that will shock country men and country women but all would be to God’s glory. In spite of all that would happen this 2020, there is hope. In Imo state, there is hope. Hope, Hope Hope… Hope in Imo state. Imo people have suffered (but) God is raising a new hope that would be an agent of salvation for them. He’s coming with a new flag to restore the dignity of that noble land of Imo. Lift your candles as I bless Hope Uzodimma and I empower him to spiritually take over. How, I do not know. Please if you heard that there would be a new government in Imo and you don’t like the message; if I say Hope, you say hopeless but do not fight me. I am saying this in respect of those who may want to come after me because of the message. If you do that, the God of Moses, Elijah and Elisha will deal with you” Finally Fr. Mbaka reportedly boasted that “no prophecy has ever been declared on this prayer ground without coming to pass”
Not unexpectedly, there have been sharp reactions among some members of the PDP, particularly those involved in the Ihedioha administration. One fellow accused Senator Uzodimma of seeking the help of prophets after failing at the courts. But that is just what it is: political yabis, as they say; especially as highly reliable sources have confirmed that the senator was not physically present at the scene of the prophecy.
My attitude over the Imo governorship dispute is well known. As I have stated in at least three previous articles, the generality of the people of Imo state are not desirous of a change in the political leadership of the state now and I do not believe that this latest prophecy by Fr. Mbaka could cajole them into thinking otherwise. It has nothing to do with any of the disputants – whom I love and respect – but on the imperative of the collective milestone achieved by the good people of Imo state, particularly as it concerns the knotty issue of power shift. Contrary to the submissions of Fr. Mbaka, Senator Uzodimma’s emergence as governor will neither “break barriers” nor “restore the dignity” of the people. Rather, if the Senator, who hails from Orlu zone that held the office of the governor for sixteen years out of twenty is declared governor (and according to Mbaka he does not know how), it would return the state to retrogression and a spate of political disharmony and rancor. I am not I a position to dispute with Mbaka over prophesies but there is a dictum that God, from whom the power of prophecy is derived, is a God of justice. The justice the generality of Imolites sought before the elections, which is that of fairness and equity, and which God Almighty in his infinite wisdom granted – with the emergence of Governor Emeka Ihedioha – transcends the personal ambitions of any of the disputants as legitimate as their quest for the office is.
Therefore, the main reason I make this intervention is not to controvert Mbaka’s prophesy but to wonder why he sees Imo state as his experimental guinea pig in his prophetical career earlier. Earlier in this article, I gave a list of his prophetical interventions in Imo but each of them threw the state into turmoil and he had always come recanting. We saw that in the case of Ohakim for which had to render a public apology. But perhaps the more striking is the ease with which he fell at with Rochas Okorocha, the very fellow whom he helped into office, shortly after the 2011 elections. This is what Mbaka said of Okorocha: “See what Rochas is doing in Imo state… the guy is not a blessing. I don’t know which kingdom he belongs to. Is it not unbelievable that a governor will gave a bounced cheque of
N50 million to Assumpta Cathedral Owerri?”
I was once told that majority of Fr. Mbaka’s clients are from Imo state and I now believe it. Apart from that he is a native of Enugu state, and his ministry based there, you hardly hear any prophesies about his home state and its people – whether for good or bad. Perhaps not many would recall that Fr. Mbaka made his first marks on fiery preaching during the days of Dr. Chimaroke Nwamani as governor of Enugu state. He had scary predictions on Nnammani and his first tenure but the latter not only completed his first tenure but got reelected for a second which he completed in full.
Back to Imo state, I do not believe that members of the Ihedioha camp should lose sleep over Mbaka’s prophesy because, contrary to his claim that his prophecies always come to pass, there are notable instances where his prophesies not only came to naught but for which he also ended up reversing himself.
Sometime in October2018, Fr Mbaka prophesied that the then candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, was going to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2019 presidential polls. These were the exact words of the catholic priest to Buhari: “After you are removed, they will bring people to flog you because you messed up the opportunity because you did not listen to the word of God…” Before that particular prophecy, he had told the president not to seek reelection. And not only did he advise the North to look for another candidate to replace Buhari, he specifically tipped the then governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dankwambo, as Buhari’s successor. To that prophecy, Buhari’s party, APC, told him that the party “can only do what is politically correct”, while a coalition of Gombe state indigenes pointedly told him that his prophecy was “fake”. And like in the previous cases, the clergyman had to recant.
Yet, just before the February 23, 2019 presidential
election, Mbaka, on December 11 2018, to be precise, prophesied that Atiku was
going to fail. He made that prophecy during a bazaar in his church and in a
feat of anger following the refusal of Mr. Peter Obi, Atiku’s running mate, to
publicly announce a donation to his ministry. Incidentally, Senator Uzodimma at
that occasion reportedly donated the sum of
on behalf of President Buhari!
As I have noted earlier, Senator Uzodimma was not present at the event of January 1 2020 during which his imminent ascendancy to power was predicted by Mbaka. For me, that exonerates him of the charge of seeking out prophets after failing at the court and I firmly believe that it is the latter, not prophets, that will determine the Imo gubernatorial dispute .As we have seen, Fr. Mbaka recanted everything he said in the past about Imo. He recanted on Ohakim. He recanted on Okorocha. Shall we then be wrong to say that he will recant again?
“My attitude over the Imo governorship dispute is well known. As I have stated in at least three previous articles, the generality of the people of Imo state are not desirous of a change in the political leadership of the state now and I do not believe that this latest prophecy by Fr. Mbaka could cajole them into thinking otherwise”