*Mbaka has succeeded in making himself a laughing stock
By Leo Sobechi
The election year 2015 is here with us after all. To a very great extent this year could be rightly called the year of division or separation. In politics Nigerians feel the main line of separation lies between the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP). In economics the theorists and pragmatics are quarreling over the division between the supply side and demand side. In matters of faith, voters may now be asked to select between fake prophets and genuine prophets. My worry is that among pastors there are those who are out to obey the demand of Jesus Christ on them to “feed my sheep” while the other set are they that feed fat on the flock. It is this latter group that inspired me with the title of this essay. When the bible book of proverbs says if you observe the wind you would not sow, I get the feeling that it was calling those who walk by sight to attention. As Christians we ought to walk by faith!
Perhaps on account of the central position that politics occupy in our national life presently, there are pastors who have chosen to walk by sight instead of faith. Not long ago, Pastor Chris Okotie raised the alarm when he declared that President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration for the 2015 presidential election on November 11, 2014 has occult significance. The pastor of Household of God Church International declared that the exact date the President made his declaration had a ritualistic undertone. The statement by the former pop singer left a lot of people wondering whether he is an occult grand master or a Christian prelate filled with the spirit of God.
How Pastor Okotie could be well versed in occult practices to know what abides or does not agree with the perfect ritualistic undertone? The grammarian of Oregun had said: “The implication of Dr. Jonathan’s declaration on that day (11-11-2014) has occult significance. When the number is repeated, it takes a greater ritualistic intensity. In this case, we have 11-11-11, because when you add the date 11-11-2014 as a year together, you arrive at 11 also. This is in consonance with occult numerology. In the pre-natural world, the number 11 is a powerful occult number; it represents judgment, destruction and death of man. Each digit in the 11-11-2014 date, when added together, viz: 1+1+1+1+2+0+1+4, you get 11. That’s why the declaration was done on 11/11/2014, which is the highest level of occult numerology. This sacred number in the occult world demonstrates an appeasement of the powers of darkness to favour the supplicant. The name of Satan in Latin is LVX. L is 50, V is 5 and X is 10. When you add that together, you get 65. When you add 6 + 5, you get 11. Satan’s number is 11.”
While Okotie advanced his devilish algebra he posited that 11 represent judgment, destruction and death of man. He therefore posed rhetorical questions: “Can we extrapolate from the experiences of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration so far that number 11 has been prevalent in our nation? Has there been spiritual judgment, has there been destruction and death on a large scale?” It would be interesting if the self-styled man of God has supported his drollery with scriptures. He did not perhaps because there was none or he was merely blinded by Jonathan-hate to remember that he is a pastor.
The most pertinent conclusion that could be drawn from Okotie’s Facebook demonic sermon is that he has been occupying his idle times with such books that converted spiritual perverts like him were reading before their encounter with the Holy Spirit. In Acts of Apostle when some make-believers, the sons of Sceva, tried to cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ (which Paul preached) they were attacked by the same demons. Consequently those who heard of that encounter became afraid. “Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars”. There is no evidence that all such devilish books were destroyed. Therefore going by Pastor Okotie’s statement about the occultic dimension of President Jonathan’s day of declaring for his second term, it could be safely argued that he could have been receiving occult instructions from such curious books.
Some of us who grew up in Enugu knew when Okotie was entertaining the people with his songs as a pop musician. However somewhere along the line we heard that he has become born again based on the demands of a particular girl he was infatuated with. Like play like play, Okotie left Enugu campus and next we heard of him was that he had traveled to the United States and joined a bible school. Thereafter he came back a reverend and behold, a pastor! Just like that. May be his years of showmanship have not departed from him, but his recent treatise raises the possibility that he may have been exposed to books on spiritism, occult practices and numerology. Unlike Apostle Paul, whom the Ephesians said much knowledge must have mad, Okotie seems to have forgotten that the Bible, being a sealed book, only the Holy Spirit is the key to unseal it. And so bloated by too much head knowledge, the jerry-curl preacher decided to utter inanities forgetting the injunction that “you must build each other up in your most holy faith” (Jude 20).
Some people have in the past alleged that Enugu has a rich past of occultism and voodoo. Could that be why some pastors that begun in Enugu always veer of the track easily? There was also one evangelist whose Ministry was the talk of the town in the 80s and 90s. The ministry started from a little office in O’çonnor and grew so big. The last that was heard of the founder was that he was conducting counseling in a prestigious hotel.
It was while the Christendom in Nigeria was engaged in contemplation over Okotie’s devil’s epistle; another pastor with Enugu background released his own bombshell! Though Camillus Ejike Mbaka is a Reverend Father in the Catholic Church, his founding of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, places him side by side with other pastors. Unlike other young reverend fathers, by presiding over the Adoration Ministry, Mbaka became a big boy such that while others could be moved from one parish to another in a periodic transfer, he became a permanent Landlord of Christ the King Parish, of GRA, Enugu. Perhaps learning some few tricks from a similar Ministry that begun in Obiagu, Father Mbaka begun dishing out fiery homilies in the fashion of charismatic priests. With time he started attracting the wretched of the earth as he pandered to the whims of the oppressed.
He climbed into reckoning when the Enugu State Government carried out downsizing of the civil service. The disengagement of workers gave Mbaka the opening to take on the state government. And when he perceived that the masses were receiving succour from his preaching, he fired on. This way his parish grew and revenue was coming to the Enugu Diocese which started dealing with Mbaka as an untouchable.
It is against that background that politicians began to court the priest because of the number of faithful that throng his services especially the Friday night vigils. When Mbaka started the construction of a befitting church complex for the GRA church, he applied the fund raising methodologies of Pentecostal churches. While the construction lasted, Mbaka continued virulent attacks on the administration of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. But as many catholic faithful in search of revival or catharsis from far and near continue to attend the adoration meetings, it was not possible to see that Mbaka has long deviated from his calling as a priest.
The reverend father once had an altercation with the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Diocese, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, over attacks on the government. The Archbishop was said to have reminded the reverend father of Christ’s injunction that Christians should pray for leaders. Mbaka was also reported as having some unprintable exchanges with residents of GRA over the encroachment on their land. Mbaka became so political in his preaching that he once sponsored a governorship candidate in Enugu. Sometimes, perhaps because of the caliber of political actors that attends his church activities, the young reverend father tends to forget that he is just a Vicar of Christ and not Christ himself.
The above background is needful to understand the recent campaign against President Goodluck Jonathan by Mbaka. When the wife of the president visited his Church, the pastor spoke in voice similar to those of sycophants. And forgetting that it was the Deputy President of Senate that accompanied the first lady to his church, Mbaka made a turn around to de-market the President by campaigning against his second term ambition. Many have asked what Mbaka stands to gain by his rash and unguarded utterances. But the fact remains that the priest started behaving very rascally ever since he acquired the status of a shadow Bishop of Enugu diocese of Catholic Church.
With a sprawling business empire ranging from printing, food processing and manufacturing, father Mbaka has grown too big that he has become a law unto himself. The aspect of his statement which is most worrisome is where he said that because a particular pigeon could not fly, President Jonathan is doomed if he contests the 2015 election.
Mbaka must have been guided by public opinion because what he said had no bearing on Thus Says the Lord, which is the maxim of a true preacher. Though sources say the reverend father has a native doctor in his lineage, he should know that there is connection between light and darkness. In a nation where people are after results, pastors like Mbaka should remember that Christians are to walk by faith and not by sight. If a pastor would depend on a medium like pigeon to determine whether a venture would succeed or fail, then his followers may as well consider visiting shamans who use yam and other implements in fortune telling.
By depending on a pigeon to foretell the outcome of an election that would depend on a lot of variables, Mbaka has succeeded in making himself a laughing stock before the Christendom. His political calculations and projections have always shown him as a false prophet! He asked for First Lady’s phone number and got her aide’s number instead. Feeling frustrated by that development he descends on the political turf in a show of human foible unbecoming of a reverend and apostle of Christ. What a shame?
No matter what the politicians from the two divides may say in reaction to Mbaka’s outburst against Jonathan, in his quiet time, he should know that the glory has departed from his lips. He may consider also the possibility of pulling off his cassock to contest the president or seek appointment as a minister if he believes that governance is as easy as weekly singing and clapping. He should also know that 70 percent of those who throng his arena may be coming to hear his yabis or dance away their sorrows.
Finally whenever commentators accuse so-called men of God in Nigeria of being part of the problem, he should know he recommended his inclusion by his political preachments.
Mbaka’s declarations may be a warning to politicians to limit their visits to preachers and places of worship!
–Leo Sobechi, is a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst.