Outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, has apologised for his scathing remarks against Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Mr Mbaka, during his weekly ministration service on Wednesday, said Mr Obi will not be president of Nigeria in 2023 because he is “a stingy man who does not give out money to people”.
He also said unless Mr Obi returned to his Adoration Ministry to apologise for refusing to make a donation to the ministry when he was asked to do so, his ambition to become president of Nigeria would be fruitless.
But in a statement on Friday, the cleric, who is the spiritual director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, said he did not intend to malign the LP presidential candidate, but “to pray for him.”
“In any way, the supporters of Mr Peter Obi feel offended by my utterances or, however, I was misunderstood by them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness.
“Peter Obi is my friend and remains my friend and brother. I love him and I wish him success. May God bless him and his good supporters. God’s will be done in his political endeavour,” he said.
Mr Mbaka said the supporters of the former governor are youths whom he has been fighting for, stressing that he is yearning for good governance and leaders that will better the Nigerian society for the youths.
He regretted Nigeria is passing through hard times, with insecurity, rising unemployment, corruption and bad governance bedevilling the country.
“I am a servant of God. I am not in any political party, but I support good people and good governance. Any good person that God can give us is my choice candidate. For the sake of peace, I ask for forgiveness in any way I am misunderstood.
“What the youths are passing through and their conditions give me sleepless nights. It is for this reason that I yearn for good governance and worthy leaders that will take care of them,” the cleric said.
“And to Peter Obi himself, I ask God to bless him and manifest his will in his life. When God says yes, who can say no? And when he says no, who can say yes? I bless Peter Obi and pray for him.” he added.
Mr Mbaka’s apology comes hours after many Nigerians criticised him over his comment on Mr Obi.
The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has condemned the cleric for his comment on Mr Obi.
The church said Mr Mbaka’s comment did not represent the position of the church and violated the various provisions of the canon laws of the church.