The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has reacted to the scathing remarks against him by an outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka.
Mr Mbaka, during his weekly ministration service, on Wednesday, said Mr Obi would not be president of Nigeria in 2023 because he is a “stingy man who does not give out money to people.”
He said unless Mr Obi returned to his ministry to apologise for refusing to make donation to the ministry when he was asked to do so, his ambition to become president of Nigeria would be fruitless.
Many Nigerians, including the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, criticised him over his comment.
The cleric later apologised to the former governor of Anambra State and his supporters, saying his intent was not to malign the LP presidential candidate.
The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Callistus Onaga, Friday, banned Catholic members from attending activities at the cleric’s ministry.
Mr Obi, while appearing as a guest on a programme on Voice of the People FM, Lagos, on Sunday, said he has no “issue” with the cleric.
He said he still loves and respects Mr Mbaka, despite his outburst.
A video clip of the radio programme has gone viral on social media.
“For me, Father Mbaka is an ordained priest of God. And as a priest, he remains my priest. And I will always respect and show my allegiance to the (Catholic) church.
“Whatever he says, I will take it because he is my father in faith. And I respect him any day. And he is my brother. We are close,” Mr Obi said.
The LP presidential candidate said he has been telling pastors who try to warn him with their revelations about the outcome of the forthcoming presidential election to pray to prevent “such revealed situation” from happening.
“Whenever he (Mr Mbaka) says something wrong, I pray over it. If he says something right, I pray over it. So, mine are prayers. Whatever he does, I love him.
“This is me because he is a priest of God. I don’t have any problem with him. Whatever he says, I will put it in prayers,” the former governor added.
Like the rest of his family, Mr Obi is a strong member of the Catholic Church. His brother, Fabian Obi, is a Catholic priest, who serves as the rector of Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Onitsha, Anambra State.
His elder sister, Martina Obi, is a reverend sister in the Catholic Church.
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