The term being “born again” was made famous by our LORD YAHOSHUA HA MASCHIACH (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth, in the third chapter of the Gospel of John in the Bible. A Jewish Leader and Pharisee by the name Nicodemus, had paid Jesus a secret visit to get some clarifications on his teachings on how one could be born again, before he could enter the kingdom of GOD.
Jesus made him to understand that one needed a spiritual rebirth in order for him to be at peace with GOD and inherit his kingdom. That spiritual rebirth entails a change of ways, obviously from the good to the bad. In other words, to be born again is for one to repent from his old sinful or unacceptable ways to embrace a righteous path.
The recent ideological somersault by the fiery and renowned Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka can more or less be considered a form of rebirth going by his antecedents. In the past, Fr. Mbaka was considered a populist whose voice echoed the wishes of the masses through his fiery preachings from his adoration pulpit. He was considered fearless as he always spoke truth to power even at the peril of his soul. His documented saga with the former governor of Enugu state, Sen. Chimaraoke Nnamani is a clear testament to this fact.
However, Mbaka appeared to backslide some time in 2015 when he made a volte face by jettisoning support for the better fairing Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and pitching tent with the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The fact that Mbaka supported the emergence of president Buhari and consequently, Gov Hope Uzodinma, sent shock waves down the spines of his fans.
In Buhari’s case, many wondered at the rationale behind Mbaka, as a priest of the Catholic Church, supporting a muslim against his christian brother, who wasn’t doing badly at the time. In the case of Uzodinma, people also were bemused how GOD would support injustice by permitting that a person who came a distant fourth in an election should be given an unmerited first position. Many believed that he had been seriously compromised and as such, now speaking for his “belle” instead of for GOD who anointed him a priest.
Nevertheless, Mbaka justified his support for these men by claiming his hands were tied since the message was from GOD. He went ahead to tell the people that both Buhari and Uzodinma would rule well and develope the nation, which according to him, would be a sign proving that his prophecy was from GOD. Furthermore, Mbaka had condemned those agitating for Biafra and rather advised them to shelve the idea and ask for a better nation instead. By so doing, he left no one in doubt that he was not in support of the agitation for Biafra.
Unfortunately, empirical facts on ground has proven that Mbaka’s prophecies were wrong and has given so many a good reason to doubt his sincerity. His predictions that Nigeria and Imo State would become a better place under Buhari and Uzodinma appears to be a mirage. Instead of improving, the condition of living appears to be fast deteriorating and compounded by the recent escalation of insecurity.
Since 2015, Mbaka had kept what many refered to as criminal silence over the worsening conditions of living in the country. At a time many believed he had left the country and apparently is unaware of the events happening. Others thought that he had probably resigned his priesthood to try his hands on another trade. All these speculations continued until the recent killing of Ikonso, the commander of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Imo State by security operatives. That single event appeared to be the straw that had to break the Camel’s back for Mbaka to become born again.
In his preachings after the event which went viral, Mbaka had unequivocally stated that GOD had directed him to withdraw his support for Buhari and Uzodinma to prophesy against them. By Mbaka’s standard, the implication is that GOD is no longer with Buhari and Uzodinma. He also went ahead to append his signature to the agitation for Biafra, and openly asked GOD to bless the leader of the IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The presidency responded by alleging that Mbaka’s switch in camp was as a result of a denial of his request for contract by the president.
Mbaka fired back claiming that the contract request was not for personal interest but in the interest of the nation. While their may be elements of truth in the accusations and counter-accusations from both parties, what appears to be important to the jubilant masses is the fact that the fiery priest has repented from his old ways. Mbaka has become born again! For people like Reno Omokri, who have been dragging Mbaka over his recent comments, they must understand that there is room for repentance in christianity.
After all GOD said that it is not HIS will that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance. As a priest, Mbaka is quite abreast with this fact and has decided to take advantage of it. If as a priest his mission is to turn people from the bad way to the good, what is wrong if he does that by example? After all, the Holy Book encourages priests and ministers of the Gospel to lead by example, therefore I don’t see why their should be a fuss when a priest becomes born again!
Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu Esq.
Public Affairs Analyst