15/05/2021

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Nigeria: Why are Buhari’s aides confronting a priest?

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A war of words has broken out between officials of the Nigerian presidency and a priest.

Father Ejike Mbaka in a recent sermon criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s security record, calling for him to resign or face impeachment.

Mbaka is the spiritual director of Adoration Ministries located in Enugu state.

A longtime backer of the President, Mbaka said the west African country’s security had continued to deteriorate under Buhari’s administration.

Buhari’s aides quickly responded, accusing Mbaka of becoming hostile after his appeals for government contracts were rejected by Buhari.

The spokesperson for the presidency Garba Shehu claimed in a tweet that Mbaka had demanded contracts ‘as compensation for supporting Buhari’.

“Here is the point of departure,” Shehu tweeted on Friday.

“Father Mbaka asked for a meeting and to the shock of Presidential Aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. The President graciously allowed them in, and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support,” he wrote.

Mbaka is a popular preacher in eastern Nigeria.

A ruling party official on Friday threatened to report the cleric to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church ”if he continued to cause disaffection for the Federal Government with his utterances”.

Nigeria has been hit by a spate of deadly militant attacks targeting military installations and civilians in its northeast.

The country is also struggling to stop a wave of kidnappings targeting school children.