Straight Talk With Olanike: Nigeria And The New Year Bang! The 'Father-ly' Way…


Happy New Year to you all.  Wow! 2015 started with a big bang in Nigeria; in a city popularly known as the coal city. This bang started as an innocent and innocuous one and it was in no way complicated like the “Big Bang” theory proposed by the Belgian scientist and priest, Monseigneur Georges Lemaitre at the Catholic University of Leuven almost a century ago. The interesting thing though is that there are unavoidable similarities between the two bangs. 
First, both bangs came about from the works and efforts of two catholic priests. You really have to give some credit to the Catholic priests who send reverberating waves across countries and people groups. That reminds me another of such Catholic friars, Gregor Mendel, posthumously famous as the father of modern day genetics. These Reverend Fathers are not the regular Rev Joe Blogs of everyday fame. These ones challenge the status quo and create some rhythms that cannot be ignored.
Here was I minding my own business in the freshly minted New Year when the worldwide web became awash with videos from one Rev Father Mbaka of the Enugu Adoration Ministry. Huh!! Who would have predicted that the 2015 big bang will be from the corners of the Southeast of Nigeria? Ehn, who would have? Certainly not me. Little did we know that the said Father Mbaka would dip both legs and waist deep into the overflowing river banks of Nigerian politics; taking on the presidency and her perceived inadequacies.  Father Mbaka lost his cool. He shouted, spoke fiercely with authority; interjecting his speech with unabated force as the rhetorical questions were posed to his very alive and responsive audience. At a later stage, he juxtaposed his eloquent words with sayings in his native Igbo language.  I watched with rapt attention as though my next breath depended on that speech. I could not believe my ears when I heard the feisty words of condemnation hurled at the president. What about the “luck” undulating from “good” to “bad” luck at intervals. This was no mean feat for a watch night service. If any watch was going on, it was the presidential watch.
Very few areas of the Nigerian life were left out as Rev Father Mbaka lambasted the office of the president for neglect, ineptitude and lack of performance. It was a sight to behold as the bangs sounded loud and clear in the congregation. I was about to give my verdict when another online personality pulled me back before I pushed my “luck” too far. It seems that Nigeria is in for a seasons of examining “luck”, good or bad as it might be.
The interesting dimension to the bang came in the form of an older video release of the same Father Mbaka praising the president when the first lady visited a few months ago. Reported, it was less than three months ago. Many questions start to fly in your face when you think about the three hundred and sixty degrees turn around message of Father Mbaka. Some dramatic events must have occurred for such a New Year bang.  It’s great for religious clergies to get involved in the political landscape of the country but worrisome it becomes when they appear swayed from one position to the other without explaining how the tornado of change blew their convictions over. Ours is a country deeply steeped in religious rites but our faith should speak conviction, integrity and steadfastness as well as buttressing on our humanity to neighbours such that the golden rule becomes engrained in our lifestyles.
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