Ebola: Jonathan to meet Nigeria’s state governors, health commissioners

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday reassured Nigerians of the Federal Government’s readiness to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in the country.

Mr. Jonathan gave the assurance in Abuja at an interfaith conference with the theme: “The Imperative of Interfaith Understanding and Cooperation for Responsible Politics,” organised by the Interfaith Initiative for Peace, an NGO.

The president said that he would meet with the 36 state governors and the state commissioners of health on Wednesday to ensure that they were all poised to fight the deadly virus.

“As a government, we promise Nigerians that we will do everything humanly possible to contain the Ebola.

“We are doing our best, on Wednesday I am going to meet with all the governors of the state. They will come with their commissioners in charge of health and we must make sure that every state is prepared.

“Where they lack, the Federal Government will support the states to make sure that they have all it takes to contain the Ebola.

“It’s unfortunate that one mad man brought the Ebola to us, but we have to contain it.”

The president pleaded with religious leaders in the country to educate their followers on what they could do to check further spread of the virus.

He said that from his discussions with health experts within and outside the country, 60 per cent of the Ebola infections currently in Africa were contracted at the burial ceremonies for those who died of the infection.

“This is a good forum that we will use to also plead with our religious leaders, because people listen to you more than they listen to politicians. So, in our various preaching in the mosques, in the churches, we should communicate to them.

“I have been having discussions with people outside the country and within the country since this incident happened.

“My conversation with the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Mrs Margaret Chan, was quite instructive.

“It says that the spread of Ebola, from the analysis so far, 60 per cent of the spread is during burials, that is why we are pleading that we must be mindful about burials.

“We are even pleading that for people who believe in some kind of ceremonies and so on, this is not the best period for those ceremonies.

“If somebody dies now, that person should be buried where he dies, after some months when we get over this, you can exhume the body if you want, government will provide the medical professionals that will help you exhume the body and go and bury the way you want.”


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  • TRUTH MASTER

    A government that is always reactive! This latest Ebola outbreak started in March 2014. What has the government been doing since then?

  • Garba Shehu

    Every Dick & Harry know a lot. Do you know the rules of the church?

    • Benjamin

      “Alhaji” is it you who will decide on that?

      • Garba Shehu

        I never claimed to know the church rules let a lone knowing whether Mbaka’s action is right or wrong. This man was preaching to people at the church not in an ordinary event.

        Do you know more than Cardinal Onaiyekan?

  • Okey

    Father Mbaka is simply at it again. In 2011, the same Fr. Ejike Mbaka said Dr Chris Ngige should step down for Dr Dora Akunyili; that any any attempt by Nigige to contest against Akunyili would “surely” result in a wasted effort. So, according to Mbaka, said the Holy Spirit.

    Now, how did Mbaka know that the bird that refused to fly, if any, was assigned to Jonathan by the Holy Spirit ? Is Jonathan bigger, healthier and more rubust than his challengers ? What if Fr Mbaka’s bird was already diseased before the day of Mbaka’s necromancy – action and belief system of knowing from the gods ?

    I ask this question because I was in his church in Enugu in 2011 when the same Father Mbaka told his congregation that the spirit revealed to him that Dr Chris Ngige will lose the 2011 Senatorial election to Dr Dora Akunyili (now late). Mbaka told everybody in that service, particularly residents of Anambra State, that that they better cast their vote for Mrs Akunyili because, according to Mbaka, a vote to Ngige is a wasted vote. Any member of Father Mabaka’s church that attended his parish services in 2011 will corroborate what I am saying here because, “Ngige will fail in the Senatorial contest” was a sing-song by Mbaka at the time. So, Mbaka’s diseased-ridden-bird-led-prediction will surely go the way of his similar daydream “prophesy” against Ngige.

    Now see the type of “holy spirit” that moves Ejike Mbaka: According to The Sun newspaper of today, Mbaka said: “When she (Mrs Patience Jonathan) came here, I told her to give me her number so that I could give her messages, but thrice she refused. It was later she told one of the pastors with her to give me his number. So, before that message, I had called the number for two weeks but it was always the Personal Assistant to the pastor that picked the calls.“

    So because the President’s wife felt extremely reluctant to oblige you her phone number; you eventually got but could not gain access to her, subsequently. Then the “anger of gods” was provoked and “prophetic” prediction (really, necromancy judging by his flying-birds-sign) resulted !

    The world can now see how these “men of God” operate or are moved.

    But Lesson: Jonathan should guard his loins. For if what opponents of Ngige did at that time is anything to go buy, then Jonathan should hope that his opponents may announce themselves as winners even before the conclusion of the voting exercise; some disgruntled ethnic chaunist in INEC will aid them bountifully to give credence to their announcement. Where that fails to hold, the opponents aided by INEC will force a rerun in some strongholds (now, States) where they thought their number will cancel out Jonathan’s figure. These were all that was done in Ngige/Akunyili senatorial contest to translate Mbaka’s daydreams and necromancy into reality. For, after all, did Mbaka not say “Ngige will fail” ?

    • pilla Joe

      What is important about the first lady’s number that Mbaka or any other person should be desperate to have?

      • Okey

        My brother !

    • This matter is too high for u. Keep out of it.

      • Okey

        Unlikeyou, I don’t “get high”

  • dudu

    This writer has made a very powerful submission and God bless his heart. May Ademoyo’s pen never dry as his articles are always about upholding and preserving the ethics and goodness for public good which God has commanded us. It is now left over to Cardinal Onaiyekan and other men of God with their consciences. I want Onaiyekan to respond to this as well as comment on the vituperations of the Methodist prelate who recently accused the fulanis and the kanuris of using boko haram to embarrass the jonathan govt.

  • Ferdinand Ayellenah Madaki

    Thank you so Mr Adeolu for this powerful apologetic piece. I’ve tried to defend Fr Mbaka’s prophetic message, but not with this clarity and erudition. Most times our bishops condemn the corrupt and oppressive system in government by issuing communiques, which is commendable. Most times the government of the day don’t even act of these communiques; and it stops there with all the beautiful words swept under the carpet, and it’s same old same old again. But I think we now need to do more than communiques in addressing the most corrupt, oppressive and irresponsible government in the checkered history of our country. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Fr Mbaka took the bull by the horn in calling a spade a spade. Thank you again sir for this wonderful piece.

  • sao

    I agree with some issues that you have raised here:especially the need to take care of the poor which a true follower of Christ cannot afford to neglect let alone a priest, cardinal or pope. But you must also remember that:

    First: The word “poverty” as understood by the Church in her Catechism is not merely material poverty-this is only about 10-20% of it. It also ecompasses spiritual poverty, religious poverty, doctrinal poverty, cultural poverty, there is even intellectual poverty. This is because one can be financially and materially rich but intellectually, culturally, spiritually, doctrinally and religiously poor.Of course the Church expects and mandates her priests to not only preach against material poverty but also defend those who are materially poor. But the she-the Church- never told her priests to focus only on material poverty the way your letter seems or rather the way Fr. Mbaka is portrayed-at least by your letter-to focus. This is because the first or main mission of the Church according to Catechism of the Catholic Churchis to preach, sanctify and to govern . And this mission is further confirmed scripturally by Christ in his mandate to his apostles before his ascension to:”..All authority on earth and in heaven has been given to me and go you therefore and preach the good news to all creatures, baptizing them In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and behold I am with you till the end of the ages..” ,thus confirming the preaching and sanctifying role. Later he will say somewhere”.. he who listens to you listens to me and he who rejects you rejects me..”. and thus confirming the governing role of the church as regards faith, doctrine and spiritual issues.

    Moreover: Whenever Pope and cardinals and Bishops gather to discuss on how to move the Church forward, the topic is never on sharing food, clothing , money or any material need to the poor rather it is USUALLY ON SPIRITUAL NEEDS like :Family spiritual well being, communion for the married or divorcee, communion in the hand against Ebola epidemic, better administration of the sacraments, taking care of seminaries, religious or consecrated people, better ways to evangelize to the modern world against topics like relativism, idolatry,pornography, homosexuality,euthanasia(assisted killings),Abortion, etc. This does not mean that the Church is insensitive about material topics and poverty but rather she demands and expects her members-mainly LAY people- to come together and think of how to solve, eradicate and reduce material poverty afflicting many peoples especially in Africa,Asia and Latin America.Also for the fact that many countless charity organizations: hospitals, schools, orphanages,home for the sick and the elderly established by Catholics-mainly- all over the world proves this. BUT THE CHURCH DOES NOT EXPECT ANY OF HER PRIEST TO FOCUS ON MATERIAL POVERTY ERADICATION OR REDUCTION,BUT RATHER TO PREACH, SANCTIFY AND GOVERN(IN SMALL WAY IN HIS PARISH) Hence a priest that focuses on fighting material poverty alone is MISTAKEN.

    Secondly: The canon law-which is the law of the church(if the church has power to govern it implies that she has power to make laws then) prohibits priests from directly or indirectly supporting a political candidate especially when the Church has not come out OPENLY TO CONDEMN the candidate’s political ideology or party system as happened during cold war in the defunct soviet communism party., and nazi party during second world war. The Church condemned these parties or ideologies(including dictatorial socialism, individualistic,solely profit-driven and exploitative capitalism practiced in some corners in the west as against person oriented capitalism) because of their inhuman treatments to their people and enslavement and destruction of human dignity.If the Church has condemned Jonathan’s party or ideology, then Fr. Mbaka would have been right to oppose any vote for him.However this is not to say that Fr. Mbaka cannot criticize(he as a priest has right to choose whom to vote for or against but cannot preach to people on this topic) somebody but telling his congregations whom to vote for or against in this circumstance is prohibited by the Church-this is what the cardinal meant.

    Thirdly: I have reasons to think that the cardinal is impartial, these are: (a) He acknowledged that Fr. Mbaka has been making “similar utterances” meaning that it is possilble that they have endured his speech patiently for a while hoping that he would change and not because he(the cardinal) was happy when he supported Goodluck initially. (b) The President of the Catholic Bishops also contributed in what the cardinal wrote about sanctioning, meaning that the cardinal was not alone, so the two bishops could not have been partial.(c)There are many catholic who swallow and accept whatever their priests say as official church teachings and positions in any issue, so the cardinal-as a prince of the Church and papal candidate who having swore to always defend the Church teachings any where and who is also bishop and has had much more experience with souls/people that any priests- certainly understand this and therefore had to intervene publicly to ensure that the masses and people don’t take Fr. Mbaka’s position as official Church teaching.The only official Church teaching about any issue can only come from the Magisterium(teaching authority of the church made up of Pope and Bishops from many part of the World) of the Church.The first set of people that will know about any new teaching or position of the Church is the Catholic Bishop Conference of the country of which the cardinal is a member of-thus he said that it is the Bishops that can say something quite authoritative or close to Church teachings and not ONE Rev. Fr like Fr. Mbaka.

    Fourthly: I am by no means against Fr. Mbaka. On the contrary I admire his boldness, courage and sincerity in opposing corrupt leaders(not every one can do this) and his love and dedication for the poor even if he seems to focus on material poverty many times.But remember that due to his love and attachment for the poor he can make mistake(which every human being is liable to including the Pope if the grace of God is lacking) and thus say what he is not supposed to say and I think that is WHAT HE JUST DID BY PUBLICALLY SUPPORTING BUHARI AGAINST JONATHAN AND THIS IS WHAT THE CARDINAL MEANT BY TALKING ABOUT SANCTIONING HIM SINCE HE IS EXPECTED TO BE NEUTRAL IN ISSUE OF POLITICAL VOTE UNLESS THE CHURCH SAID OTHERWISE.