Mbaka’s curse on Obi may become Balaam’s blessing
The dramatic twist in the Balak-Balaam project to curse the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land which God turned into blessing for Israelites may yet play out in the recent father Mbaka-Peter Obi palaver. Recall that God had led the Israelites out of Egypt with Moses leading them to the Promised Land. Israelites fought many communities and won the wars which frightened King Balak of Moab. Out of fear of the Israelites, King Balak travelled over 650 kilometres to Pethor in Mesopotamia to secure the services of Balaam, a well-known seer to curse Israelites but God thwarted this Balak-Balaam project by compelling Balaam to bless Israel to the consternation of Balaam. In the same way, Fr. Mbaka’s prophecy against Peter Obi is thwarted by the voice of the people and his Bishop.
Father Ejike Mbaka last week Wednesday practiced his art of prophecy on Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party unsolicited. Mr. Obi did not seek Fr. Mbaka’s help in foretelling the future for him. Rather the fiery priest as the news media describe him acted on his own volition or impulse. Fr. Mbaka was in the middle of his religious worship when he remembered the enchanting phenomenon of Peter Obi political resurgences as portrayed in the news media, especially the social media, of which Fr. Mbaka is an active participant and it must have irked him given his 2018 debacle when he dressed down Obi for choosing to execute a specific project rather than donating money to his Adoration Ministry. Fr. Mbaka must have considered Obi’s choice of project rather than cash gift as an affront especially when several prominent seekers of fortune through his Adoration Ministry have complied with his request for donation of money. For Obi’s impudence, Fr. Mbaka literally cursed and/or abused him and predicted failure for his Atiku-Obi presidential project.
In counterpoise, Fr. Mbaka Blessed General Buhari, the Atiku-Obi opponent after Hope Uzodinma, Buhari’s representative had donated millions of naira to Adoration Ministry on behalf of Buhari. Expectedly, Mbaka’s outbursts against Mr. Obi drew severe flaks from the public and from Mbaka’s Enugu Catholic Diocese authority which instantly suspended his adoration ministry activities until further notice. Fr. Mbaka, like some other men of God indulge in acts of prophecy and fortune-telling in the service of the needs of their congregation and such have been daily staple in the conduct of their respective ministries, especially in the Pentecostal sector of the religious economy. And these pastors as religious entrepreneurs (pastor-preneurs) have prospered in spreading this gospel of prosperity and protection from devil’s machinations by convincing their adherents that they have solutions to the apocalyptic prophecies of doom and calamities that they daily assail their worshippers.
For the pastors presumed prowess in checking and containing the devil and his works, the worshippers appreciate God through very humongous thanksgiving gifts/offerings that came by way of donation of money as Fr. Mbaka demanded from Mr. Obi. But Mr. Obi was not one who hankers after seers, prophets, fortune-tellers and divinators now euphemistically baptized as Christian Ministries and pastors, or their equivalent in the other religious divide called Alfas and Marabouts who were patronized during the Abacha regime in the 1997/1998 when he was pursuing his transmutation from Military head of state to democratically elected president. Divination, prophecy, fortune-telling, sorcery and the like spring from human nature and human need to reign on his fears of the uncertain and unknown future.
This is a human failing which seem to have been built into human DNA that virtually no man having flesh and blood escapes the enthralling and debilitating effect the fear of today and tomorrow has on human mind. This is not peculiar to Nigeria only that the debilitating ignorance and poverty have raised Nigeria’s ranking in this failing to the foremost level that could hardly be equaled by any other country. The socio-political manifestations of this new cultural change were expressed in the Southern Nigeria with increased religious revivals as the religious monopolies enjoyed by the orthodox churches got broken and new churches got registered or even unregistered and started operating in ramshackle, business warehouses and shops bankrupted by structural Adjustment Programme and the new gospel was prosperity, victory over Satan and his works.
In the North, the new religious fervour found expression in the marked fundamental Islamic precepts and proselytization promoted by Jihadists such as the maitatsine and the Shiites who kill and destroy human life and property to promote their new religion. At the dawn of the present political era, Nigeria has been transformed by this religious fervour into its present shape whereby the Christian religious ministries have been fully commercialized and became billion-naira enterprises with several pastors becoming richer than industrialists and other economic entrepreneurs.
Any person not conversant with socio-cultural, economic and political factors fueling this religious fervour in Nigeria may mistake it for a revolutionary change but it is rather a retrogressive change from enlightenment to ignorance. Whereas, Christianity and Islam are being reformed to agree with the breathtaking supersonic jet-age development in science and technology to effect that the forces of Ignorance and superstition are waning the reverse is the case in sub-Sahara Africa. Most of the pews churches in Europe and America are becoming empty even on Sundays the reverse is the case in Africa where millions find hope in the promise of glorious hereafter as churches are filled to the brim from Monday to Sunday. This new religiosity is bereft of any substance as the adherents do not seek God or worship him for his ennobled divine relationship with man but for the superstitious beliefs in quick fixes in economic and social wellbeing, especially that inexplicable magical transformation from penury to prosperity.
It is this new religion’s promise of affording its adherents this irrational transformation that is fueling the gospel of prosperity and divine favours which attract the horde to the praying grounds such as Fr. Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry and others Politicians throng these prayer grounds for divination, prophecy and fortunetelling. I am not certain that Peter Obi attended Fr. Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry event in 2018 on his own adventure. But it appeared he was invited as it was an annual thanksgiving and bazaar. Divinators, prophets and seers are humans possessed of power of intuition. Every person possesses it as it is God-given talent except that the level of discipline and good judgment may make difference in the utilization of this divine gift from God. If you read Wole Soyinka’s Trial Of Brother Jero And Jero’s Metamorphosis you would have no other judgment than that he is a prophet in correctly diagnosing and predicting the emergence of religious charlatans and commercialization of religion in Nigeria today. If you read Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People, you are left with no other impression except that he was a prophet warning Nigeria of the danger of corrupt political system and its consequences that culminated in the January 15, July 29, 1966 coups and other coups in Nigeria.
Anybody paying serious attention to the prophecies of Nigerian pastors has not grown from his primitive origin. The pastors are men like you and they see, hear and observe social actions and interpret them, the same way you do. Whatever they say are what they think after analyzing the factual situation and you can equally do the same. What transpired at the Fr. Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022 was a residual animus arising from Fr. Mbaka’s encounter with Peter Obi in 2018 which Obi’s political resurgence in 2022 was recalling to Mbaka’s mind and that prospect of Obi becoming president was an anathema difficult for Mbaka to swallow. So, Fr. Mbaka in that residual reflex had to strike it down with that his direct attack on Obi. It is a human error common with anger and jealousy or envy. Recall that nobody had commissioned Fr. Mbaka to prophesy on Mr. Obi rather the mind of Fr. Mbaka had been troubled by the overwhelming social media suffused with Peter political resurgence.
This phenomenon was too hard for Fr. Mbaka’s to stomach with ease hence his outburst. But it is certain that Fr. Mbaka’s gamble to reenact his 2018 spat with Obi backfired because Mbaka failed to listen to the spirit of God as Balaam did when the diffident and troubled Balak, the King of Moab commissioned him to curse the Israelites. Note what happened, Balaam had the good sense to listen to God even though he was attracted to the humongous benefits King Balak held out to him but Balaam obeyed God by blessing the Israelites instead of cursing them. From Fr. Mbaka’s outburst against Obi, it is obvious Fr. Mbaka was still overcome with anger over jis grievances that Mr. Obi’s did not appreciate his claimed role in the restoration of Mr. Obi’s gubernatorial office after his impeachment. Fr. Mbaka admitted Mr. Obi’s is not a bad person but that he is stingy and that Nigeria being ravaged by hunger needs a generous man like Atiku. Just imagine Fr. Mbaka understanding of Nigeria, its political economy and its politics. That shows he is not enlightened about Nigeria and its problem and his prophecies is anything but divine.