Nigerian Pastor Retracts Comments Against Obi Cubana

Rev. Ntia Ntia straightnews
Rev. Ntia Ntia

A Nigerian pastor has recanted his incendiary comments made against a popular Nigerian nightlife entrepreneur, Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana.

Few days ago, Cubana had trended in the social media after his visit to his Oba community in Nigeria’s Anambra State, where he gave lavish burial rites to his mother and his friends and associates sprayed wads of Naira and other currencies on him.

In his sermon, Ntia Ntia, the pastor of Full Life Christian Centre, Akwa Ibom State, berated Cubana, “The place where you are standing to spray money, the road is not tarred…. Can’t you see the stupidity of illiteracy.”

Pastor Ntia’s remark attracted outrage from several Nigerians who said Mr Cubana was a better man and “more godly” than many Nigerian pastors.

In a report by Premium Times, the pastor retracted his statement and apologised to Mr Cubana, after the backlash.

Mr Ntia said, in a clip that is being circulated on Facebook, that he immediately changed his perception about Mr Cubana after watching a BBC interview where the celebrity businessman talked about his humble beginning, his struggles, and how he made his first N1 million.

He regretted making the comments “very harsh and unkind” on Mr Cubana.

“I want to say that the comments came out very wrong and prematurely. With further information, the life that the man has affected, the people that the man has lifted, the destinies that he has invested in, sincerely I want to say that it is not my intention as a preacher to preach to cause hurt or to cause pain or to preach to discredit anybody, at all.

“As a preacher, my assignment is to preach words that heal, not hurt, words that help, not harm. Therefore, in any way those comments might have caused harm or pain, I sincerely apologise.”

He also apologised to Mr Cubana’s friends and others who may have been hurt by his comment.

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“I want to say that the comments came out very wrong and prematurely. With further information, the life that the man has affected, the people that the man has lifted, the destinies that he has invested in, sincerely I want to say that it is not my intention as a preacher to preach to cause hurt or to cause pain or to preach to discredit anybody, at all.

“As a preacher, my assignment is to preach words that heal, not hurt, words that help, not harm. Therefore, in any way those comments might have caused harm or pain, I sincerely apologise.”

Mr Ntia said Mr Cubana is “a great man, with the things he has done.”

He said he regretted his comment and that he has “100 per cent” respect for the businessman.

“We need more of such people who have a heart for others and would go to a great extent to invest in others,” he said.

Mr Ntia said his wife is from Anambra State, and Mr Cubana is his in-law.

In a related development, Mr Cubana, a graduate of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said, in the BBC interview, that wealth comes through hard work, and not “native doctor” or “miracle.”

The 46-year-old businessman said he made his first N1 million through a commission paid to him as a property agent in Abuja shortly after his National Youth Service Corps programme in the Federal Capital Territory.

“No be everything we you dey see today work-o, some no work. Some we put hand, we lost money,” Mr Cubana said in Pidgin English.

He said he and his family were planning a carnival for his mum’s 80th birthday, but that since she did not live to that age, they had to convert the plan and the “energy” into her burial.

His mum was a teacher in a local school, he said.

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He said the act of throwing money into the air, which is frowned upon by the Nigerian authorities, was a demonstration of love for him by his friends.

In an interview, Cubana had said that he had empowered 100 graduates and 300 persons who are billionaires, pledging to give N1 million to 300 youths in his community.