I am writing this piece in a dimly-lit corner of my room, and the quote keeps ringing in my head: “there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests.” I can’t remember who said that, but damn, does it apply to what happened today!
Like you, I woke up to the most startling news. Splashed lewdly on all papers for the day, the headlines displayed the creative geniuses of the particular newspaper house. The long and short of it was the the famously outspoken Fr. Ejike Mbaka had lashed at President Jonathan, demanding that Nigeria’s number one resign or be voted out of power. His justification for this was the usual: corruption , insecurity, administrative incompetence, ad nauseam…
Honestly, if I was given one naira for every single outspoken person – whom the president hadn’t already pocketed (Femi Fani-Kayode, anyone?) – who had called for Jonathan’s head on a platter, I might just quit my day job and go touring the world.
So, no, it didn’t come as a blistering shock to find another Man of God attacking the GCFR himself. What was surprising, actually, was the events of barely a month ago.
Flashback: About a month ago
A month earlier, before the eyes of the public, the selfsame Priest Ejike Mbaka had praised President Jonathan to the high heavens. Hell, depending on what papers you read, some might say he even lauded Jonathan and defended him for not Bringing Back Our Girls.
In November 2014, you see, Fr. Mbaka said unto Patience Jonathan, your husband has ‘done well,’ and he said unto her further – he deserves a second term.
So where is today’s gist coming from? As we’d say in Nigeria, see me see trouble oh.
Go on Premium Times, and the paper would remind you that Fr. Ejike said, with admirable conviction, that President Jonathan would have done more for the polity were it not for the ‘distractions’ tossed his way by way of security bombshells (pun regretted) that have plagued the nation for years and counting…
The internet never forgets, so we have here a direct quote from the man of God:
“Jonathan is not a kidnapper.”
Which may be interpreted to mean “Jonathan did not take the girls. Let him drink water and keep his cup down, please.”
After reading that, gentlemen and ladies, I was almost convinced that Fr. Mbaka had a t-shirt under his cassock that read “Team Jonathan4Eva,” which explains the collective gasp let out by the nation when the selfsame priest told Mr. Jonathan to “quietly resign” because he is a failure who flopped grandly at stopping corruption and insecurity in the country.
After mentioning quite clearly that the president had clearly failed to provide jobs for the Nigerian youths, he endorsed Jonathan’s opponent (gasp!) Muhammadu Buhari (gasp!).
The question is why? What ground-breaking event occurred in the space of a month to change the Holy Father’s mind?
Nobody knows yet. Premium Times would tell you that Fr. Mbaka had foreshadowed his ‘defection’ on December 31st when he said ‘uncertainties’ would arise as we approach the cloyingly romantic February 14 poll date.
I finally found out the source of the quote above. It is Lord Palmerstrom: “Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”