Ejike Mbaka, the Catholic priest seen by many as a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, has warned that should the present economic hardship continue, the President should forget about 2019 because Nigerians will not vote for him.
Mbaka’s popularity increased during the run up to the last general elections when he incured the wrath of former president, Good luck Jonathan’s supporters by predicting that he would not win.
The fiery Reverend Father, who denounced the Jonathan administration due to the allegations of corruption that pervaded the government and called on Nigerians to vote for Buhari, said he is however, happy with the direction the country is heading.
The warning was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday night, adding that the President may be surrounded by people advising him wrongly.
“My job is to tell leaders the truth, the landlords are crying, the tenants are lamenting, sellers are crying, buyers are lamenting – there is hunger on the streets.
“I can’t keep quiet when things are going wrong.
“I am telling the President to look around him and know those who are advising him rightly and those who are telling him that there is no trouble,” the statement read. “The President should know that there is trouble – if things continue like this, in the next election, nobody will vote for him.”
He wondered why the President is not taking advantage of having him as an adviser, which he said he would do for free, as his focus would be to tell him the truth always.
“If the President should have somebody like me and he cannot be talking with me, then there is a problem. There is a problem somewhere; somebody who can advise you without asking for anything and he is representing the poor masses in the country and he won’t tell you lies.
Painting a gloomy picture of the reality confronting people, Mbaka said there is too much suffering, as people cannot afford to feed themselves. He urged the President to take a bold step to address the situation, including replacing some of his advisers with experts on economic matters.
“To feed is now a problem, and an hungry man is an angry man. Hunger and anger will lead to danger. So, let him know whether he can do away with some advisers around him and bring in the people who are experts in economic revamp.
“There are people who are experts in that; let them begin to empower people, people are not empowered, they are still walking around in vicious circles, planning and planning and planning.
“Mortuary and ambulance business is now thriving because many cannot afford drugs.
The founder of Adoration Ministry, one of the largest religious groups, also warned about continued bombing of oil facilities by militants, pointing out that there may soon be no money to pay salaries, which would also result in more hardship and vices.
“Everyday, more pipelines are being blown, the Avengers are at work and up till now, there is no solution. You know when certain things begin to happen, you begin to ask some questions, somebody like me will begin to ask – when will this end?
“If it continues in the next three months, there will be no money to pay salaries – the vicious effect is disastrous and when salaries cannot be paid, teachers will come home, students will stop going to school, there will be more kidnappings, more hooliganism, more armed robbery, more prostitution, immorality will be on the increase.
“We need economic experts, gurus, sages that are sincere, who can come in and think about our economic revamp and judicial reformation.”