Nigerians back Mbaka’s warning to Buhari, say hunger, poverty unbearable

Many Nigerians on Wednesday
overwhelmingly backed the Enugu Catholic priest and Spiritual Director
of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu State, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, for his blunt message to President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Tuesday, the respected cleric shocked
many when he said that Nigerians would not vote for Buhari in 2019
unless the President addressed the challenges facing the
In the message that is currently
trending, Mbaka said there was too much suffering in the country and
faulted the President for not appointing the right persons.
He said,

“There is hunger everywhere.
Landlords are crying; 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 President should know that
there is trouble. If things continue like this, in the next election,
nobody will vote for him.”
A former governor of old Kaduna State, Baralabe Musa, on Wednesday said Mbaka’s message stated the obvious.
Musa, who spoke with a Punch correspondent
on the telephone, said the President could only win the 2019 election
through rigging, which he said would plunge the country into crisis.
He said, “If the challenges facing
Nigeria are not addressed, Buhari will lose in 2019 except he rigs the
election. And that will be dangerous for the country.”
Another northern leader, Yerima
Shettima, said the President was fast losing the goodwill that gave him
electoral victory last year. He noted that the Buhari administration had
lost focus, which had led to abject poverty and suffering for
Shettima, who is the President of the
Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, said the President shunned the counsel
of honest Nigerians at the risk of his goodwill and future electoral
He said, 
“The level of poverty is
extremely high and it is worsening. People have advised him, but he
refused to heed good counsel. His goodwill has nosedived.
“What we have seen is different from the
expectations of the masses. People sacrificed so much to ensure that he
emerged victorious at the poll. But what we have seen is appalling.
Personally, I have stopped advising him because he does not listen.”
The National President, Ohaneze Youth
Council, Mr. Okechukwu Isiguzoro, told our correspondent that Mbaka
spoke the minds of the people in the eastern part of Nigeria.
“I don’t know what the South-West and
the North think; but Mbaka’s statement is the voice of the Igbo. The
reality is everywhere. There is suffering everywhere; people struggle to
feed. There is hunger in the land because of the President’s poor
handling of the economy,” he added.
A Lagos-based lawyer and human rights
activist, Liborous Oshoma, compared the waning goodwill of Buhari to the
challenge ex-President Jonathan faced, leading to his loss to Buhari in
Oshoma said, “What Mbaka said is the
reality. People who overwhelmingly cast their votes for Buhari last year
are beginning to have a rethink. People saw him as the messiah
Nigerians had long waited for. However, what we have seen is not what we
“We should not forget that Jonathan had a
similar support in 2011, but he blew it. Now, Buhari is gradually
blowing away his. If he does not address the current challenges, even
his party, the All Progressives Congress, may pay for his inaction.”
Mbaka’s bold message also provided an opportunity for Buhari’s opponents at the poll to assess his administrative style.
For instance, Remi Sonaiya, who
contested on the platform of the KOWA Party, said a natural democrat
could have managed the challenges confronting the country better.
She said, “There is no doubt that there
are general problems. Part of the issues people have raised about the
President is that he does not react quickly to issues, and that his
military background is affecting him.
“Perhaps, somebody with a different
background could have handled the issues differently and better. The
President has just put together an economic team. One wonders why it
took him over a year to do that.”

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