Following contract allegations against Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka, an aide to the fiery cleric has said Mbaka did not solicit for any contract.
Presidential aide, Garba Shehu had, last week, said Fr. Mbaka, who is the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, is attacking President Muhammadu Buhari because his contract request was rebuffed.
Reacting to Shehu’s tirade, Fr. Mbaka’s aide said at no time did the cleric go to Abuja to request for contract to benefit himself as he took time to explain what exactly happened.
In a post on Fr. Mbaka’s Facebook Group page titled “Rev. Fr.Mbaka’s aide replies Shehu Garba”, the aide said after the
2015 election, wife of the president, Aisha Buhari personally came to the Adoration ground and promised to build a hospital for the congregation.
Continuing, the aide said in 2018, prior to the 2019 election, President Buhari also came, donated the sum of two million naira and promised to build the same ultra-modern hospital his wife had promised to build in 2015.
The aide made a point of the fact that both promises came without any prompting from Mbaka, who is believed to be a long time supporter of Buhari.
According to the aide’s narration:
“In December 2018, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who was contesting for governorship in Imo then, came with some people purported to be APC 2019 campaign delegates team to our Annual Thanksgiving/Bazaar ceremony, seeking for blessings from adoration ground.“He came with a contract award letter and papers saying it is from the FG (the President), which he read before the general congregation as contract awarded for construction of hospital in Adoration ground”.
Uzodimma and his team requested for land for the project. The request was granted after which they handed over the award letter to Mbaka..
Later on when APC won the election in 2019, the contractors came, pretended to be working but soon stopped, complaining that money had not been released for the job.
Following a hint that he may need to talk to the Presidency if the hospital project must go on, Fr. Mbaka traveled to Abuja, met with the President and clearly told him about the contract papers and message from him that Senator Hope Uzodimma brought before the 2019 election.
According to the aide, Mbaka went to Aso Rock with the purported contractors they said they gave the contract and also with the Adoration Ministry Lawyer.
In that meeting with the president, he showed them the contract papers and documents Senator Hope handed over to them (that is from Villa) and the picture of the land made available for the hospital which has been abandoned.
Rev. Fr. Mbaka’s aide said that was exactly what happened, insisting that the cleric never asked the President to give him contract.
The aide who said he was part of the Abuja trip explained that Mbaka only went to Abuja to brief the president on what transpired and to request them to finish what they started.
Beside the explanation by Rev. Fr. Mbaka’s aide, the cleric himself has reacted to the presidential contract allegation.
It is noteworthy that Mbaka’s explanation is different from his aide’s narration.
While the aide concentrated on the different people who came to Adoration Ministry with offers of building a hospital and how Mbaka travelled to Abuja with the contractors when it seemed the project had been abandoned, Mbaka’s explanation focused mainly on the contractors he took to Abuja.
Mbaka’s response, made while delivering an homily at the alter on Sunday, is contained in a video that has gone viral.
Mbaka admitted taking contractors (three white men) to Abuja but however said they were people who said they had solutions to the security challenges facing the country.
He said he had never met them before, adding that the contractors only met him to facilitate their seeing the president because, according to them, Mbaka has the president’s ears.
Mbaka said he obliged to take the contractors to see Buhari because anything that will quell the escalating security challenges was a welcome development.
He said the contractors claimed to have the platform as well as the gadgets to end insecurity in the country.
According to Mbaka, “They had a platform to end insecurity in one month. I handed them over to the government people. I didn’t know them. They said they had all it takes to revive the oil apparatus and get the youths employed; the government rejected their offers”
The cleric flayed Garba Shehu for saying he went to Abuja to solicit for contract and was rebuffed.
The snag however is in the divergence of the two explanations. While Mbaka’s aide said the white men were contractors to execute the hospital project, the cleric said they were contractors who wanted to fix Nigeria’s security issues. Except of course the cleric and his aide were referring to two different visits to Abuja.