Before his fierce attack on President Goodluck Jonathan on the New Year eve, a renowned Roman Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, Enugu, was a supporter of the presidential policy and even endorsed him for the second term.
In November 2014 Rev. Mbaka welcomed the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, others to his Enugu parish. He told Mama Peace that her husband had "done well" and deserved another tenure at the Aso Rock.
PremiumTimes, with the reference to a church session recording, informed that Rev. Mbaka defended the incumbent president for not saving the Chibok girls.
The cleric noted that the president could have accomplished more if not for “distractions”, apparently referring to the issues of terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria.
Speaking on the Chibok girls' abduction, Rev. Mbaka said: "Campaigners have no reason asking the president to return the girls home since Mr. Jonathan was not keeping them."
“Jonathan is not a kidnapper,” he added.
Dame Patience was the special guest of honour as the Enugu Church marked its 2014 annual thanksgiving and bazaar. She took a Bible reading from Genesis chapter 12: 2-3.
Later, speaking directly to the First Lady as she knelt before the altar, Rev. Mbaka described her as a mother whose passion for Nigeria is widely acknowledged. He said his ministry had always prayed for President Jonathan not only to win elections but to excel in leadership.
“We are not stopping, because we want him to go back. Even if you don’t come here, we keep praying for him,” the priest said, addressing the president directly.
“Because the first one we did you were not here. We are not sycophantic. Because you and your husband have done well, in spite of the distractions.”
He told the First Lady to “go with the consolation of the Holy Spirit. The anointing of the Lord says God will make your family great.”
In her return, Mrs. Jonathan expressed gratitude to the church for the “spiritual intervention”, said she was encouraged to “bring our people to the path of peace and unity at this time we are facing security challenges.”
Rev. Mbaka later offered special prayers for the first lady and the president.
However, a bit more than a month later, the priest made U-turn, called on Goodluck Jonathan to “quietly resign” for failing to tackle the insecurity and corruption, and to provide jobs for the Nigerian youth. He also noted that Muhammadu Buhari, who is the main challenger of the incumbent president, deserved to win the February polls.
The priest recalled the November session with the First Lady, and said the “spiritual drama” he performed that day, using pigeons, showed the president would lose the forthcoming elections.
He said four birds were freed from the cage to fly up but the one that represented Mr. Jonathan refused to move even though it was the healthiest.
“When God rejected Saul, David took over. Let me tell you, in the history of Nigeria, we have never experienced bloodshed as we have in the time of Goodluck. If Goodluck means bloodshed for Nigerians, are you waiting until your own blood is shed,” he said, as the crowd replied with “No”.
The real reasons why Rev. Mbaka has reversed his earlier position are yet to be ascertained, as he was unavailable for comments in person. One thing is for sure: the speech has sparked extensive debate in the country, the most intense yet for 2015.