The former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is a man who prides himself as a man of honour and whose words are always his bond, but if his utterances and actions are anything to go by, it is safe to safe that he is lacking in honour and integrity he so much derides many for lacking.
In May 2022, many aspirants for the Presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress said they were going to build on the legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari who was in office at that time, and one such is the current President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nyesom Wike said “It is most unfortunate when I hear people declaring (intention to be president) under APC and saying they want to continue a good job of Mr President – the good job of people dying every day, the good job of naira falling every day.
“I feel so ashamed that we have got to the level of sycophancy where people will come and say I want to continue the good job of Buhari. What is the good job of Buhari – hunger, poverty, insecurity, economy falling?
“I can’t believe that somebody will come out in today’s Nigeria and say I want to continue where Mr Buhari has stopped. May God never allow that evil to continue.”
Two things happened after this (in)famous speech, first of all, in January 2023, during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, Wike declared; “I commend our President, General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his sustained efforts at defeating the Boko Haram insurgents and bandits terrorizing and destroying our communities in parts of our country,” Wike said.
“The restoration of peace to our troubled geo-political regions, and the conduct of the free and fair general election are the best legacies you can live for our country.
“As leaders, our goal must be one Nigeria, one destiny, and the challenges of building a more fair, inclusive, and just society are not beyond us. Therefore, I will not relent in my prayers to God to enable Mr. President and other leaders of our country to succeed in our mission and commitments to our country.”
Second of all, he is serving in an APC government as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory led by a man who promised to build on Buhari’s legacies.
I got interested in the heated politics of Rivers State all because of Nyesom Wike as he is always projecting himself as the right, fair, and just one. He is always right, and every other person is wrong. To him, he is infallible.
I listened to his position on the matter during his media parley some weeks ago and it was never about the state, delivery of good governance or the benefit of a larger group; it was all about himself.
During the parley, which was more of an ego festering, he stated, and I quote; “Let me tell you — I don’t like ingrates. I can’t stand it. What is happening now (in Rivers) is what Odili said in his book: ‘Give a man power and money, then you will know the person.’ If you haven’t given manpower and money, then you don’t know the person,” Wike said.
“However, I’m not worried because I am a politician. I know what other states are suffering because of debt. But go (to Rivers) and check if I had liabilities. The records are there.
I left projects for him to commission so he would showcase during his hundred days, and then politics came in. We are just starting. God gave you something. You are now importing a crisis.
“God gave this (power) on a platter of gold, no crisis. The federal government is not fighting you. Nobody at home is fighting you. You are the one trying to create a crisis for yourself.
“What kind of system is that? Who does that? Only ingrates that (it) is in their blood that will support what is happening there (in Rivers). Only those who are natural ingrate.”
He had earlier affirmed when the crisis broke out that “nobody can take away the political structure in Rivers. Nobody can intimidate me. If I want to do something, I will do it. The impeachment is not a military coup. It is provided under the constitution,”
It is right for Wike to have this impression of himself knowing the role he played in the emergence of the Governor and it is expected, but I would like to remind him of his position in 2020 during a media parley with Channels Television Crew when Ayo Makinde asked him what are his succession plans to sustain his office success?
In his response, which I must commend was statesmanly and democratic, he said, and I quote; “Everybody who wants to be at the helms of affairs will have his vision and mission. If somebody is coming to become the governor of Rivers State, and believes he can go along with what I’ve done, so be it. I’m not going to say look I want Chamberlain to succeed me.” Why would I think so? Why will I want Chamberlain to continue with what I’ve done? Why won’t Chamberlain have his vision and mission? Once we have this at the back of our minds, then there is a problem. That is how Nigerian politics is today.
“Everybody wants to know who will succeed me, I will not do that, and that is the problem I have today. People are saying, “Look, you’re not making room for who will succeed you.” Ok, what will I do?
If the man succeeds me, what will happen? If he does not do things I want him to do, what will happen? And who tells you if he succeeded me, I can have control over him? I won’t encourage that. History has shown it does not work. Allow everybody to have his mind to do what he wants to do for the people, and let the people judge him based on what he is doing”.
I will not begrudge former Governor Nyesom Wike if he doesn’t recollect these words of his or remember such an encounter, as he has tons of media parleys due to his obsession with the limelight and the press.
But if Wike will for once live up to his words, he should leave Governor Siminalayi Fubara to be a Governor as it is evident he doesn’t choose to be an emperor.
Wike should allow Fubara to have his mind and do what he wants for the people and let the people of Rivers State judge him based on what he is doing. Not Wike or his structure to judge him.
Deyemi Saka, Public Relations Consultant and Public Affairs Analyst