Controversial Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, who has fallen out with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, has responded to the accusation by Nigeria’s presidency that he was a disgruntled contract-seeker.
A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, took on Mr Mbaka after the priest called for the president’s impeachment over the rising insecurity in the country.
Mr Mbaka, in a video clip posted on the Punch Facebook page, did not deny discussing the contract award with the administration officials, but said he did it with the intention of helping to find a solution to Nigeria’s security challenges.
The video was taken during a Catholic Mass, apparently, in Enugu. The date in which it was taken is, however, uncertain.
In one breath, the priest appeared to be saying that the accusation itself, which some people consider as damaging, was a vindication to his person. In another breath, he appeared irked by it.
“May God bless you for telling everybody that you have not given me contracts,” Mr Mbaka said.
He talked about the men whom he wanted the contract awarded to.
“These are the three men we brought that will handle insecurity for the country, they have the gadgets, they have the facilities.
“That was during the first (term of the) administration. And they said they would help them in conquering insecurity, they have the platform to end the insecurity in this country in under one month. Under Abba kyari…. I just handed them over to the government people.
“I don’t even know these people, they just came to Enugu and asked if I can help them reach the government,” Mr Mbaka said.
The priest said the people he presented to the government for the contract award have the resources to revive oil infrastructures in Nigeria and make the oil industry work for the good of the Nigerian government and people.
He likened the presidential spokesperson, Mr Shehu, to “crocodile who wants to eat the fishes in the fish pond.”
“But God is ready for them,” he said.
“Am I begging them? Do they know how many people I feed? As I said, I put my hands on the altar and told everybody I don’t have their number.
“Do they know how many widows I am paying for their house rents? Do they know how many students I am paying for their school fees, home and abroad?
“If a single individual, a priest for that matter, who doesn’t have a single child, a biological child, is doing this, then the federal government should do more.”
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The priest said the accusation against him was childish and laughable, and that he was not in any way feeling discouraged.
He said the accusation was a shame to Mr Shehu and “the people he (Shehu) is representing.”
“I have been waiting for them to challenge any of the things I have said – whether there is insecurity in Nigeria or not, whether there are good hospitals in the country or not.
“The money they are packing for elections, if they use it to build industries shan’t our youths have places to work?
“Why I have been silent is because I have been waiting for them to change, until God said speak.”