Since the encounter between the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, and the former Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, we have been trying to search for the scriptural basis of bazaar, or as our Protestant brothers would ask: Is bazaar in the Bible?
What we saw in the Bible was where some people were putting offerings in the treasury and Jesus commended a poor widow who put in two farthings, the only thing she had. (Luke 21, 1-4).
That was during the Pharisaic age of public display of offerings, contrary to what Jesus had said that “your left hand should not know what your right hand had done”.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary tells us that bazaar is “a sale of goods, often items by hand, to raise money for a charity or for people who need help”.
In the same vein,Wikipedia defines bazaar as “a permanently enclosed market or street where goods and services are exchanged or sold”… sometimes, as the “network of merchants, bankers, and craftsmen” who work in the area.
According to Wikipedia, evidence for the existence of bazaar dates to around 3,000 BCE, suggesting that initially bazaars developed outside city walls where they were often associated with servicing the needs of caravanserai.
Based on this understanding, we believe that bazaar has no scriptural foundation. Bazaar is a worldly activity aimed at raising money for some specific projects. That is why all sorts of mundane activities like “try your luck”, are carried out during a bazaar time.
In the Catholic Church, bazaar is usually held when the Holy Mass must have ended, or outside the Church service.
The Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka had some projects to execute, so he decided to organize a bazaar to raise funds for these projects. He then proceeded to issue out invitations to all and sundry, the good and the bad, requesting them to attend the bazaar.
Trust Nigerian politicians, they began to fall on top of each other to honour Father Mbaka’s invitation. Everyone of them had hoped that the man of God would give them anointing, preparatory to 2019.
The expectation therefore, was that everyone of these politicians who honoured the invitation would have something tangible to give. Nobody was forced into the Adoration Ground. Those who could not make it gave one reason or the other, like former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
So, Father Mbaka seeing these array of personalities at the Adoration Ground was full of hopes and expectations. It did not occur to him that any of one them would be shifty or have any reason not to announce what he or she would give.
So, when the former Anambra State Governor and PDP Vice Presidential candidate. Mr. Peter Obi began to tell Father Mbaka that he would see him later, the man could not make any meaning out of what he was saying. Peter Obi agreed to honour Mbaka’s invitation, received his blessings, but would not make up his mind what to give. That was very difficult for Mbaka to comprehend.
Apart from that, Nigerian politicians are too slippery. As an Igbo proverb would have it, “If you fail to take the knife from the man of valour when he is lying down, it would be very difficult to take it from him when he gets up”. Nigerian politicians are too sweets mouthed when they are seeking for votes, but once you vote them in, you will never see them again until the next election. So Father Mbaka was very skeptical about Peter Obi’s promise that he would see him later. That was why he insisted that Obi should pronounce what he would do.
Besides, public pronouncement of donations is motivational. It spurs other people who would be sitting on the fence, those who were yet to make up their mind what to give. If everybody, like Peter Obi, would say “I will see you later”, then that would be the end of the fund raising exercise.
Lest we forget, the bazaar activity started when the mass had ended. That was why Mbaka was not wearing his cassock. So, like the Pope, he was not speaking ex cathedra, on the throne.
This is not to detract from the fact that Mr. Peter Obi is a man of principle, a man of honour. Of all that Father Mbaka did, and even some of his aides, the man stood his ground, remained calm and refused to budge. He continued to smile. Indeed, this has made him a hero in the whole drama.
Peter Obi has told us that we should not crucify Father Mbaka, but that we should all pray for the man. This is a wise counsel from the man of the moment, and we all must welcome it.
Let us always be prayerful for our ordained ministers of God, in particular, for Father Ejike Mbaka. As St. Paul told us, the battle is not simply against the flesh or carnal, but also against principalities.
Donseze, I learnt a lot. I now appropriate bazaar. Have understood Mbakars desire. The content of the man Peter Obi as a man who does not play to the gallery. Etc. Thanks
You are a wise man.
I pray for your kids to emulate your life, wisdom and knowledge sir,you are a great man