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First, Mbaka, Now Bakare...Why are Buhari's Friends Turning Against Him?

Although it is not yet clear whether Buhari would be going for a second tenure come 2019, he and his party will have to put up a good fight as critics and challengers increase by the day. 

Father Mbaka

 

“I love President Goodluck Jonathan and I used to be his ardent fan, but I want good for my people and that’s why I want Nigerians to vote out Goodluck Jonathan and vote General Muhammad Buhari. I don’t care if Buhari is a Muslim and from the north; all I care about is that Buhari can save Nigeria,” Ejike Mbaka, a Catholic priest, had said in January 2015.

 

Fast forward to January 2018, Mbaka had this to say: “Unless President Buhari quickly and strategically positions the right people and changes the former ones inaugurated by him, the wind of change, that he himself inaugurated, will blow him away shamefully… God said you are toying with the privilege given to you.”

 

Clear difference, no doubt – all in the space of two years. What went wrong?

 

MBAKA, THE FIERY PRIEST

 

No doubt Mbaka is known for being outspoken, especially on issues concerning Nigerian politics and the well-being of Nigerians.

 

 

His endorsement of Buhari had come in a damning message titled ‘From Good Luck (in mockery of the former president) to Bad Luck’. In the message, the priest bared his mind open on why he felt Buhari was the “saviour” that Nigeria needed – in contrast to Jonathan who was now a “bad luck”.

 

Two years after, Mbaka has a strong warning for the president: “Change or be disgraced.”

 

What could have happened?

 

FRIEND TURNED FOE?

 

In December, shortly after Buhari’s emergence, he hosted Mbaka in Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power.

 

At the meeting, the president described the preacher as a “man of courage” and thanked him for his role in the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

 

The cleric, on his part, said he was happy with the mission and methodology of the Buhari administration.

 

He had gone ahead to later reveal that during his visit to Aso Rock “for prayers, what I demanded from him was good governance for Nigeria,” adding: “I didn’t ask him to give me one kobo.”

 

In what could be described as a move to strengthen the goodwill between them, the president later celebrated Mbaka as a “wise counsellor and teacher”.

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