Ex-Senator, Effiong Bob, makes U-turn; supports zoning of Governorship ticket to Eket District

A former Senator from Akwa Ibom State, Effiong Bob, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party faithful in the state to support the
zoning of the party’s governorship ticket to Eket Senatorial District.

Mr. Bob, a former senator who represented Uyo Senatorial District, had in the past kicked against Governor Godswill Akpabio’s insistence on picking his successor from Eket Senatorial District.

But in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the former lawmaker said as a true party man and leader, he had no choice
but to support the decision of the PDP National Working Committee on the matter.

“No doubt, the recent decision by the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to zone the governorship of Akwa
Ibom State in 2015 to Eket Senatorial District, has created confusion, discontent and perhaps some level of bitter frustration among certain party loyalists in the state; particularly party supporters from Uyo Senatorial District whose interest I have represented over the years,” Mr. Bob said.

“Mostly affected are those who had positioned themselves to participate in the race for the governorship in 2015.

“By this decision therefore, they have lost both the capital and the profit. The question then is: what do we do; do we defy the party’s
directive by allowing our personal ambition to override our loyalty to the much cherished supremacy of the party? Or do we bury our
individual interest and abide by the decision of the party irrespective of the loss and frustrations,” he asked.

Mr. Bob explained that as a leader, he could not toy with any matter that would affect the interest of Akwa Ibom State and Uyo Senatorial District.

He argued that the people of the state and senatorial district have consistently been the ladder to his political career which started as a councillor, council chairman, state lawmaker, commissioner and then federal lawmaker.

Mr. Bob said, “Putting all this side by side with the supremacy of the party and after due consultation with my loyal constituents and
leaders whose advise have guided me in time past, I have arrived at the conclusion that we must bury our personal and group interests in
the larger interest of the PDP. We must respect the decision of the party regarding the 2015 Governorship race in the State.

“I therefore appeal to all aspirants and groups in Uyo Senatorial District to accept this decision as a sacrifice for the growth of the
State and our party.”

Although the decision is painful to the people of the area, Mr. Bob advised party faithful not to jump ship or go against the decision of the NWC.

Currently, he said leaders and stakeholders from the senatorial district are engaging in discussions with aspirants from Eket
Senatorial District to ensure that the interests of people from the area are adequately protected when the party’s candidate finally emerges.

“My dear constituents, let us reason together. Let us exercise patience by accepting the present as a sacrifice for tomorrow. Let us
demonstrate our total loyalty and unshaken support to our party.Tomorrow will surely be better than today.

“We must however ensure, with our votes, that the best and the generally accepted candidates flies our party’s flag and is eventually
elected to the office,” Mr. Bob said.


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  • K_Kenechukwu

    Very spot on!!! I hope Fr. Mbaka gets to read this and be reminded about the supremacy of the Catholic Church’s doctrine ove lay apostolate

    • key

      men are talking from carnal body, leave Ref. father alone, An annointed man of God, who is led by Holy Spirit, God will perfect everything at the right time and exonerate his servant. Ref. Mbaka is a true servant of God, He hears from Holy Spirit, not all men of God has this special Gift. One thing is clear, even if catholic church eject Ref. Mbaka, His Ministry can never stop neither will he deviate from Gods work. so writers & co., save yourselves all pains and think about life after death.

      • Justice

        You mean he will take his business center with him? Whats new. He hears from the holy spirit? I think you and Mbaka should stop smoking that thing.

  • Adrusa

    Corrupt politicians love priests who leave politics to politicians. A man of God must be seeing to be offering Godly advice to everyone, politicians inclusive. If that somehow sound like “playing politics” to some, too bad. I wish more men of God will be like Father Mbaka, Olubunmi Okogie etc. By the way, where is this hack writer’s advise to Ayo “$9.5M” Oritsejafor, David Oyedepo and the other “men of god” who openly supported Jonathan and predicted that he will win the last elections?

    • james

      i think you should use your time for something profitable instead of commenting on what you know nothing about

  • Mo

    I partially agree with the writers Message and ..!

    I honestly agree in part with the writer . What the Rev Fr did during the last election is highly commendable and noble but politicising His transfer is very wrong and kind of depicts loss of focus on His calling.
    Rev. Frs could be transferred from Rome to Iromi village at the discretion of the constituted authority and you are expected to comply swiftly. So, why the noise?

  • emmanuel anizoba

    By this action the Catholic Church has, as usual, shot its own foot. Time will soon teach the untutored Church potheads the inevitable lesson : Harm not the anointed of any Deity! Fr Mbaka’s popularity may skyrocket soon, all to the bewilderment of his detractors. Cheers!

    • Vince

      May God have mercy on you! Read in between the lines of your statement.

      • emmanuel anizoba

        Which God? The God of Godless Christianity? Only DUNCES, like Vince, have anything to do with that Chimera. The befuddled Christian mind sees an allegory where there’s nothing but plain simple English. Read the lines of my statement, not between those lines where there’s nothing to read … see? Cheers!

        • Vince

          Exactly!! ‘between’ ‘the’ ‘lines’. What you have between the lines are spaces for you to think through the words. God is God regardless of your utterance. He is the God of the universe and He is alive. #MannersMakeAMan

          • emmanuel anizoba

            Relax Vince, words are not worth fighting for. The word “God ” has different meanings for different people, despite your irritation. Certitude is a sure sign of error and tyranny. Would you now start raising an army of fools to fight for your Almighty God? Let the Almighty fight for itself, simple!

  • Egwakhide Christian

    Well articulated, Mr. Ndukwe, that is exactly the mind of the Holy Mother Church. You wrote like someone who has received Seminary training. Come to think of it, he has been in that parish for 20 years. That is even too much. He can hand over the adoration ministry assets to the incoming priest.

  • fishhook

    “Fr., you need not be reminded that you are a priest of the Catholic Church and not a pastor of any other denomination”

    He never denied his church. He cried for the pain his flock would suffer to reach him in his new parish. Even Jesus was heartbroken several times whenever the mass of the people followed him to places that he was. Many people are unable to understand the bond Fr Mbaka had built with the parishioners. He cried not for leaving Enugu but the challenges awaiting him. No place to lay his head, no electricity, no water, no prayer ground for the masses.
    People should leave Fr Mbaka to sort his pain out. Do people know how many of his followers wept over his departure? Think about it.

    • Mockme

      Whose flock? Christ’s flock or Fr. Mbaka’s flock? Christ’s (Christians) or followers after the mind of Fr Mbaka (Mbakastians)?

    • Justice

      Are they serving and worshipping Fr Mbaka or God? There is something seriously wrong with your statement and the mindset of the church members. They seem to have elevated this man to a god-like figure and totally lost touch with the true God. This cut across all these business center churches where the owner is revered more than God. My people are lost for lack of knowledge. Even the knowledgeable ones key into it because it’s expedient and financially rewarding to do so.

    • MARRIS

      GOD IS TRYING TO USE HIM TO BRING LIGHT TO THAT COMMUNITY, IF HE SAY NO WHO SHOULD BE SENT.

  • kelvin

    Well spoken,

    But i have some few questions to ask, maybe i can get answers from public.

    1. How many years has Fr Mbaka spent in his last parish?
    2. What is the number of years a Fr suppose to spend in a particular parish?
    3. Why was he ne transfer before now if he has spent well over the expected number of years at a particular parish.

    The Bishop could as well be playing the politics.

    • Justice

      Why do you say you want some answers when you have already made up your mind as per your Las statement?

  • Jnr Jn

    I appreciate the write up and would also share the view that Mbaka tries to live with the reality of his transfer without making it a public discussion. But Mbaka, unlike the many instances you named, is a figure whose affairs matter for a lot of people, religious as well as non religious. What I expected from him was not not to publicly speak about it. Every priest speaks publicly about his transfer in Nigeria and beyond but the publicity of each speech depends on the publicity that a particular priest enjoys. I expected from Mbaka to speak publicly speak about his posting but in a way that a lot of people whose faith in God are built in the person of Mbaka may not get shaky! The supreme Law of the church is the salvation of soul and each posting and reaction to the posting should take this into account.

    On the other hand, I wish to point out that the above write up (the letter to Mbaka) is built on some basic assumptions that do not enjoy any form of truthfulness. The first of the assumptions is that Catholic Priest who are parish priests in the Roman Catholic Church could be transfered by their bishops at will without the consent of these priests. This assumption is based on the common but restricted experience of Nigeria. The Roman Catholic Church is however beyond the confines of Nigeria. I refer you to the wordings of Canon Law, the law of the church, that guides both the bishop and the priest in matters of parish priests’ transfer.

    THE PROCEDURE FOR THE TRANSFER OF PARISH PRIESTS
    Canon 1748: The good of souls or the necessity or advantage of the Church may demand that a parish priest be transferred from his own parish, which he governs satisfactorily, to another parish or another office. In these circumstances, the Bishop is to propose the transfer to him in writing and persuade him to consent, for the love of God and of souls. Canon 1749 If the parish priest proposes not to acquiesce in the Bishop’s advice and persuasion, he is to give his reasons in writing.

    Canon 1750 Despite the reasons put forward, the Bishop may judge that he should not withdraw from his proposal. In this case, together with two parish priests chosen in accordance with Canon

    1742 §1, he is to weigh the reasons which favor and those which oppose the transfer. If the Bishop still considers that the transfer should proceed, he is again to renew his fatherly exhortation to the parish priest.

    Canon 1751 §1 If, when these things have been done, the parish priest still refuses and the Bishop still believes that a transfer ought to take place, the Bishop is to issue a decree of transfer stating that, when a prescribed time has elapsed, the parish shall be vacant.

    §2 When this time has elapsed without result, he is to declare the parish vacant. Canon 1752 In cases of transfer, the provisions of Canon 1747 are to be applied, always observing canonical equity and keeping in mind the salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law.

    With Mbaka’s complaint, it is difficult to establish that his bishop went through such an ecclesiastical procedure in the removal. As I said before, that we are familiar with arbitrary removal of parish priests in Nigeria does not make it normal for catholic church. Leave Nigeria and go even to the Vatican or any part of Italy, Germany, France, you will find out that it is not only that a transfer is to be done after the consultation of the parish priest but the parish priest has the right to apply for a vacant parish of his choice, should he consent to his transfer. The Nigerian bishops may have their reason for insisting on this mode of transfer which is not within the capacity of this write up to investigate.

    The second wrong assumption of the write up is the assumption that priests should leave politics for politicians! Who is even a politician? The money mongers and exploitative machines of Nigeria whose only ideology in seeking for political offices is to kill, intimidate, subjugate in the unchecked move to rob life out of the fellow citizens? Criminals are criminals and politicians are politicians! Criminals can not be regarded as politicians! A politician is every citizen of a nation state who in enjoying his inealineable sovereignty gives a delegation, in the case a representative democracy, to some fellow citizens in the form of mandate to serve his needs of security, education, infractructure, health, etc. Even though he made this delegation, he still has his sovereignty for as a citizen he can not give up his sovereignty. On the basisi of his sovereignty, which makes him a politician, he calls from time to time those he delegated to give account of the delegation and possibly sanction them when they fail to render the required account. He questions them about the health, the transportation, the security, the education, the employment that they are supposed to carry out. That was why they were delegated. He applouds them if this delegation is carried out as agreed but reprimands them if not. So every citizen, on the basis of his sovereignty is a politician. Whether you are a priest or not, your sovereignty as a political being remains with you. Saying that Mbaka should leave politics for politicians is based on a wrong assumption of what or who a politician is. Pitiably, this wrong assumption is what is normal in Nigeria and that is why I am not surprised. But that not withstanding, it is a wrong assumption!

    The third wrong assumption is the descripancy the writer made about the fruit of the holy spirit and the gift of the holy spirit and the conclusive statement that “The Catholic Church places more emphasis on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is what ultimately helps a man to make heaven: “ He went further to cite Matthew 7:22-23 out of context. It would be a contradiction on the part of the church to emphasise the fruit of the holy spirit without the gift! Perharps the writer lacks the basic theological information about the relationship between the gifts of the spirit and the fruits of the spirit. Again, his statement on this deconstructs the very event of the pentecost that justifies in various ways the beingness as catholic church. He should research more on this before selling such a theological mistake.

    There are a lot of other wrong assumptions upon which the writer based his letter to father Mbaka. To write an open letter on the basis of poor information is condemnable and on that basis, the writer should withdraw this letter. I also encourage fr. Mbaka to stop making publicity out of the posting even if he finds it to be out of victimisation! He is a priest and can not be victimised in as much he is still placed in the service of Christ.

    • Vince

      You should know well enough that th writ meant partisan politics.

      • Jnr Jn

        I would believe that partisan politics demands being a registered member of a political party! I doubt if Mbaka is one. As a Nigerian, priest or no priest, he has the responsibility to condemn any wrong politician. And in as much as he has the responsibility to call a wrong politician to order, justice as fairness demands from him to commend any person that he finds doing well. Doing such is not being partisan.

    • Oty

      You went up and down and finally said nothing.

      Consultation with the priests happens during the annual retreat hence postings comes.after the retreat.

      Let me ask you did Fr. Mbaka tell you his bishop didn’t consult him. Also was the news media the place for him to reposnd to the posting?

      The Judas who sold Christ found the reason for that. The church doesn’t pander to your whims and caprices and you can believe what you want.

      Please don’t quote things out of point and give bogus examples. This current pope has transfered cardinals and bishops in and out of the Vatican. I hope you’re not thinking you alone know these countries.

      • Jnr Jn

        Oty, thank you for write a reply to my critigue on the open letter to Mbaka. Your own write up is still based on falsehood, namely: “Consultation with the priests happens during the annual retreat hence postings comes.after the retreat.” It could be that the posting of priests in Enugu Diocese takes place often after the priests’ retreat but the retreat period gives no room for consultation about posting. You can enquire more but if you have never been in priests’ retreat, be very careful about false assumptions. Okay?

        You accused me of quoting out of context and giving bogus examples? I would presume you have nothing to do with theology not to talk of canon law and that is why your correction to my “bogus examples” was to point out about the assignment and/installment of Bishops by the Bishop of Rome(Pope), which takes a totally different procedure in the canon law. I refer you to the procedure of transfer of parish priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of München in southern part of Germany and Köln in the western part. You can find information about that in their different web sites and inform yourself more if you can understand German. That would serve your demand of avoiding bogus examples. Here is not the best place to teach you canon law and to explain to you the difference between the ordination/ installation of a Bishop or the assignment of a cardinal for a particular pastoral assignment and the transfer of a parish priest. If you want to get yourself informed, you can register for theology classes but before you do that, restrict selling your false assumptions that derive from lack of knowledge.

        Next, you accused me of running up and down and not saying nothing! You are entitled to your opinion. Peharps you expected me to say that Mbaka is correct or that he is wrong or even that his bishop is correct or wrong. This was not the intention of my write up. What I wrote was to point out the wrong assumptions upon which the writer built his letter to Mbaka which are: That catholic parish priests could be removed by their bishops at his will, that priests are to leave politics to politicians and that the catholic church emphasises the fruit of the holy spirit and deemphasises the gifts of the holy spirit. These assumptions of the writer are wrong assumptions and these wrong assumptions presented his letter to be so convincing. Why not criticise my critique of the letter in an academic and scientif way instead of resolving to emotions?

        Let me now make my stand clear in a transparent language to you, so that you understand my position. As I pointed out, the supreme law of the catholic church is the salvation of the soul. To this extent, both the Bishop of Enugu (Bishop Onaga) and Fr. Mbaka are totally wrong in the roles they presently play in connection to this posting! Many people are made to loose their faith. The faith of the people are delicate and should be cared for. No show off of power or self interest is enough to wound the faith of any faithful. It is on this that the whole pastoral work of be it a bishop or a priest lies on!

      • Jnr Jn

        Oty, thank you for writing a reply to my critigue on the open letter to Mbaka. Your own write up is still based on falsehood, namely: “Consultation with the priests happens during the annual retreat hence postings comes.after the retreat.” It could be that the posting of priests in Enugu Diocese takes place often after the priests’ retreat but the retreat period gives no room for consultation about posting. You can enquire more but if you have never been in priests’ retreat, be very careful about false assumptions. Okay?

        You accused me of quoting out of context and giving bogus examples? I would presume you have nothing to do with theology not to talk of canon law and that is why your correction to my “bogus examples” was to point out about the assignment and/installment of Bishops by the Bishop of Rome(Pope), which takes a totally different procedure in the canon law. I refer you to the procedure of transfer of parish priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of München in southern part of Germany and Köln in the western part. You can find information about that in their different web sites and inform yourself more if you can understand German. That would serve your demand of avoiding bogus examples. Here is not the best place to teach you canon law and to explain to you the difference between the ordination/ installation of a Bishop or the assignment of a cardinal for a particular pastoral assignment and the transfer of a parish priest. If you want to get yourself informed, you can register for theology classes but before you do that, restrict selling your false assumptions that derive from lack of knowledge.

        Next, you accused me of running up and down and not saying nothing! You are entitled to your opinion. Peharps you expected me to say that Mbaka is correct or that he is wrong or even that his bishop is correct or wrong. This was not the intention of my write up. What I wrote was to point out the wrong assumptions upon which the writer built his letter to Mbaka which are: That catholic parish priests could be removed by their bishops at his will, that priests are to leave politics to politicians and that the catholic church emphasises the fruit of the holy spirit and deemphasises the gifts of the holy spirit. These assumptions of the writer are wrong assumptions and these wrong assumptions presented his letter to be so convincing. Why not criticise my critique of the letter in an academic and scientif way instead of resolving to emotions?

        Let me now make my stand clear in a transparent language to you, so that you understand my position. As I pointed out, the supreme law of the catholic church is the salvation of the soul. To this extent, both the Bishop of Enugu (Bishop Onaga) and Fr. Mbaka are totally wrong in the roles they presently play in connection to this posting! Many people are made to loose their faith. The faith of the people are delicate and should be cared for. No show off of power or self interest is enough to wound the faith of any faithful. It is on this that the whole pastoral work of be it a bishop or a priest lies on!

  • Samuel Adeniyi

    N duke, ndigbo. before I read your I read your write up I knew what your opinion would be as regard zFather nbaka. Every normal human being knew that the transfer of nbaka has political undertones. The transfer ignited by people who think the priest caused their down fall. God is with the priest as such, one with God is in the mejority.the end shall justify the means.

    • Justice

      You are full of rubbish. Why would the transfer of this priest be political? What makes him different from any other priests transferred? Is it not the prerogative of the church and bishop to do so when expedient? Your corrupt apc mind is leading you astray. Unless you now tell me that this parrot of a man is bigger than the Catholic institutions.

      • Samuel Adeniyi

        Look at kettle painting a pot black. Your corrupt pdp mind ,that impunity and jingoistic mind is also leading you astray.most of you because of hatred for GMB, disallow you from seeing the light., and I hope you people will not perish and die in darkness.

  • onyefeze

    The word of our elders are words of wisdom. I believe Jude Ndukwe has spoken the mind of many Nigerians, catholic and non-catholic alike. Fr Mbaka’s behaviour and attitude is not only un-catholic but also un-bibilical. Pastors and Rev. Fathers who behave like Mbaka should be de-robed and sent out to join politics where what they say at the pulpit (political podium) could always attract counter comments from their political opponents.

  • ifeanyi

    The transfer of Fr. Mbaka became political because of utterances of the clergy when he prophesied that President Jonathan will loose the election against the belief of almost everybody in the southeast. He was thoroughly castigated because of the prophecy, including the Catholic church. This is why it was seen as punishment. If you say that he should not talk politics because he ceased to be a Nigerian because he is a Reverend Father, why is Cardinal Okojie, Fr. Kuka later Bishop Kuka and others allowed to talk and participate in political activities. Are they not under the control of the Catholic church?. Hypocrisy.

  • Duke Chidiebere Nweje

    The transfer is quite political. This has the undertones of Igbo PDP moaning and trying to avert the work of God. When the man of God stops talking about his people and how incompetent leaders are ruining them, then the end is near.
    The catholic church is now so political in their endeavors, a shameful thing.
    Transfer him underground, he won’t stop saying the truth.