The Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, on Friday tendered a public apology to the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, and his supporters, a day after he described the politician as stingy and unfit to be President.
Speaking during one of his programmes in Enugu, the vocal Mbaka had declared that “Peter Obi is going nowhere as far as God lives. If the Igbo want a representative, it is not someone like Peter Obi.”
Explaining his grouse with Obi, the cleric had said, “A stingy man that cannot give people his money, with this hunger ravaging the land, and you are saying he is the one you want. You want to die of hunger? Are you people insane? Where is the Holy Spirit?”
But his comment attracted widespread backlash from Obi’s supporters while the Catholic Diocese of Enugu State also condemned the cleric and disowned his outburst.
The church, while describing Mbaka’s political utterances as divisive and unbecoming of a priest, said the verbal attack on Obi breached Canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of another person.
However, in an apology letter on Friday titled, “Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka Blesses His Excellency Peter Obi and His Supporters,” Mbaka pleaded for the understanding and forgiveness of Obi and his supporters, praying that God would grant the heart desires of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate.
In the letter he personally signed, Mbaka said,
“I am a servant of God and my intention is not to malign His Excellency, Peter Obi’s image, but to pray for him. May God’s will be done in his life.
“I pray to God, whom I serve, to give our beloved people good and excellent leaders who will take care of them and lead them to the Promised Land. Anyone who God wishes to make our leader is my choice.
“In this vein, I give my blessings to His Excellency Peter Obi and his supporters; I also give my blessings to the other candidates and their supporters whose intention is also to give Nigeria good leaders.
“In any way, the supporters of Mr Peter Obi feel offended by my utterances or however I was misunderstood by them, I ask for their
understanding and forgiveness. As a servant of the Most High God, I pray that it shall be well with my people. I am an ardent supporter of good governance, justice, equity, love, and godliness.”
Describing Obi as his friend, Mbaka said his intention was not to fight or malign Obi.
“He is my friend and remains my friend and brother. I love him and I wish him success. May God bless him and his good supporters. God’s will be done in his political endeavors.
“The followers of Peter Obi are the same youths I am praying for, sacrificing for, fighting for, speaking for, and working for their integral well-being. What the youths are passing through and their conditions give me sleepless nights. It is for this reason that I yearn for good governance and worthy leaders that will take care of them. We are passing through indescribable, unbearable, andundeserved hardship in this country. I pray for divine intervention.
“I am not in any political party but I support good people and good governance. Any good person that God can give us is my choice candidate. I am a servant of God. For the sake of peace, I ask for forgiveness in any way I am misunderstood.
“And to Peter Obi himself, I ask God to bless him and manifest his will in his life. When God says yes, who can say no? And when God says no, who can say yes? I bless Peter Obi and pray for him. I bless my dear fellow Adores and pray for them. I bless the people of God everywhere and I pray
that it shall be well with you all.”