WERE Nigerians not occupied by cyclic tragedies that surround their daily existence, the unfolding drama of public disagreements between sworn friends – President Muhammadu Buhari and Rev Father EjikeMbaka -would have got more attention. The increasing admission of those who egged on Nigerians to accept Buhari six years ago, that Buhari was an avoidable disaster has improved nothing.
Mbaka is a late arrival to that destination. Buhari continues to confirm himself as an uncaring ruler who is not affected by rampaging bandits, resilient kidnappers, conflicts in the North East, or protests over his unmistakable proclivities to favour certain Nigerians over others even where lives are involved.
What Mbaka took him so long to realise that Buhari was not a friend in deed or indeed? Mbaka worked for Buhari’s success in 2015. He has just been told he was not among those considered fit to benefit from a government under which insecurity is spiraling.
Buhari opts to play the victim in his relations with “fellow Nigerians”. He blames us for his unmitigated failures. Regurgitations of those tales of successes of his administration remind us what a disaster he has been.
In Mbaka he has a former ally who would not be drowned in the allegation that his angst was over a failed bid to win contracts for his foreign partners. Was Mbaka wrong to have expected to be rewarded for the work he did? As Mbaka asked, did Buhari not reward his fellow believers in the Buhari project?
The Presidency’s low blows ricochet badly. Who cleared three foreigners (white men, as some called them) to visit Aso Rock without knowing they were contractors? Mbaka said they were security contractors. Like Mbaka’s unclear intentions, was their mission in Aso Rock also unknown? Did they get clearance as members of Mbaka’s prayer band?
Responses the Presidency – the President by proxies – offers do not illuminate the darkness and pale Buhari has cast on the country by his presenteeism. The duels with anyone who speaks fill the country with more feelings of uncertainty, repression, and the same tendencies that Buhari promoted as a military ruler.
Buhari and Mbaka deserve each other. If there was a way to leave Nigerians out of their tango we would have attended to more telling facts of our lives. Government looks away as kidnapped students remain in captivity. Threats of havoc are tolerated if the anointed ones issue them. Anger, hunger, diseases, and more deprivations are the lot of Nigerians in the midst of the country’ worst insecurity.
Mbaka does not pull punches. Mbaka does not keep quiet. Bishop Valentine Onaga has suspended him from religious duties for one month, another in a list of sanctions on Mbaka for speaking out, mostly saying things the Catholic Church hierarchy finds embarrassing, at least the way he says them.
His suspension would not achieve much. His rabid supporters went on rampage on learning that the bishop was caging their spiritual leader. Apparently, Onaga had taken Mbaka in to get him to recant his statements on Buhari.
Buhari would soon find he shares a lot in common with his estranged friend. One of those traits is the claim to infallibility. Mbaka who leads a small group. Dangers of idolatry infallibility invokes are nothing compared to Buhari who leads more than 200 million disparate people.
AWAY from innuendoes, speculations, and name-calling, the Presidency cannot know those who want to destabilize Nigeria and all it does is to warn them. If names are provided, we may assist with the arrests.
DID anyone remember what security agencies did to the armed traders who chased away the police in Enugu and destroyed police vehicles while the police were trying to execute a court order for their eviction? Those traders qualify for known gun men.
NOT all of us should allow the security situation to confuse us. When you read that security agencies have located vehicles loaded with explosives, and had details of the illegal shipment, including its destination in Imo State, you expect that arrests should have been made and the vehicle seized. Sorry, we should not teach operatives their jobs.
Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues