Wike: When strength is not enough
Prior to becoming a functionary of the state government, Wike served his Ikwerre people as chairman of Obio-Akpor local government council. Although a lot of people from the eastern part of the country ascribe hardness to the name Obio-Akpor, for Wike to graduate from council chairman of that tempestuous local council, through Chief of Staff Government House, Port Harcourt; to cabinet minister, shows his staying power.
His kith and kin in Rumuepirikom must have marveled how their rambunctious son that left Rivers State University of Science and Technology, just the other day, has made steady climb to political stardom.
But situation and circumstances have a way of throwing up Wike in moments of great battle. For not long after Governor Amaechi sent him away from Port Harcourt to Abuja that political exigencies positioned the incumbent Rivers State governor for a great political fray.
And having found himself in an opposing border, Wike fought the home front with the ferocity of a wounded tiger. Wike is one other Nigerian that knows how to dominate his environment. When Amaechi sent him on ‘exile’ to Abuja, the former governor must have craved a breathing space and a sigh of relief.
However, after nearly four years’ sojourn in Nigeria’s federal capital, Wike settled down and won the confidence of his new principal, President Goodluck Jonathan! Enabled and emboldened by that lofty position, Wike was well equipped to do battle, a two-dimensional political combat.
While he fought for his political ascendancy on the one hand, Wike resisted his principal’s adversaries on the other. It was in that unique position that history found him excelling in strength against those wanted to arrest his journey to Government House and vanquishing the homestead adversaries of his principal.
Governor Nyesom Wike will always remember the year 2015 like most Nigerians. But his reminiscences must be with mixed feelings. Having succeeded in mounting the saddle as governor, he lost what would have been his national tower of strength; the covering of Nigeria’s Presidency.
Battle On The Mount
BY May 13, 2015, when the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal began its sitting, Wike must have rued the absence of a covering from ‘above’, because the ding dong that trailed the challenge to his electoral victory was out of the ordinary.
Despite his strong stature and boldface, he was rattled when the tribunal relocated to Abuja for security reasons, because though conversant with the tradition of system boys in RSUST, the claim of security was a guise to use federal might to rob him of his gubernatorial trophy.
True to his apprehensions, Wike’s election was nullified by the tribunal on October 24, 2015. And although he had the Supreme Court as a final relief, the new governor knew that usually the last fight is on the mount, as such the apex court was the point of no return in the event of any untoward outcome.
As things turned out, Wike found his voice only during night vigils and church programmes in the state. To make matters very grotesque, his cheerleaders ensured that a thanksgiving service, which was earlier planned in contemplation of a victorious verdict at tribunal, went ahead. The faces of most of the women at the service betrayed disbelief, while even the worship songs evinced the tenor of a somber dirge.
Words made subdued rounds in Port Harcourt that the lion-tamer of Rumuepirikom has confessed his disinterest in a further gubernatorial contest as ordered by the tribunal. He must have reflected on what it takes to fight electoral battle without essential covers.
However, by the grace of the apex court Wike returned from the ‘mountain’ with his governorship mandate restored. His swagger returned and he took liberty to join the fray in the battle for the soul of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But in all his fights, Wike was assisted by a loyal cabinet that covered for him effectively in the area of mandate delivery, particularly the provision of massive infrastructure in Port Harcourt and other parts of Rivers State.
Yet as if he has forgotten where he is coming from, Wike seem to be prepared for a fight against his chi! That is what the sacking of his commissioner for works and later, the whole cabinet suggests.And in a vain show of indifference and devil may care, Wike traveled to Sokoto to pay homage to the Sultan. Perhaps Ezenwo Nyesom believes that his enemies have all been vanquished, as such he could afford to kill his medicine man. But whatever new friends the Governor of Rivers may be making in his political gambol, he should remember that strength does not prevail in certain battles, especially within the household.
He should also remember days he remembered the Bible, particularly its injunctions that a man’s worse enemies are those of his household. Let it not be that Wike has broken the hedge, because strength cannot stay the bite of the serpent.