Wike: The irrepressible voice of the Oppressed

By Bisi Ezekiel

Before his election as governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has proven himself as a dogged fighter. He demystified the political power bloc in the state led by former governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.

He was able to sustain the heat generated by the rivalry created in the search for the control of the state politically. He subdued every antagonist outside and within the state to gain re-election.

Governor Wike no doubt got the mandate of the people of Rivers State to govern them for another term of four years because they found him worthy as a result of the unprecedented strides of development he has brought to every local government in the state within the first four years.

Notable Nigerians have attested to the reason why Wike got the appellation of “Mr Project” by commissioning numerous infrastructural projects to better the lives of the citizenry.

The Governor ensured that his administration is not in opposition to the Federal Government as he always seeks partnership to move Rivers State and Nigeria forward.

However, he remains resolute in upholding the freedom of River state. He once said: ” We are not a conquered people and we will never surrender our freedoms to anybody or entity, whether internal or external. We will therefore not accept to be subjugated to a headmaster and pupil power relationship; neither are we going to abandon the collective interest of Rivers State for the sake of political expediency.

“We are for the rule of law, democracy and mutual respect as an autonomous State entity and co-building blocks of the Nigerian federation”.

Rather, Governor Wike called for cooperation from all groups of the state, irrespective of the political,  ethnic and economic interests to join hands with his administration for the development of the state.

His outstanding performance in office no doubt led to the clamour in some quarters that Wike should seek higher political office after his second and final tenure as a state governor while on the other hand there has been a campaign of calumny against his yet to be declared future ambition.

When the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 2015 and 2019 suddenly became the opposition party in 2015, Wike became one of the very few voices seeking justice against the use of state apparatus by the ruling APC to suppress the opposition. He was swift in condemning anti-people policies of the government and defending the PDP.

His latest stride as the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Committee for Edo State governorship election was commended by many Nigerians.

The siege on his hotel room in Benin City on Saturday, September 19, 2020, a day before the governorship election in Edo State, by the police generated furore and large sympathy. Many Nigerians condemned the injustice meted on the Rivers governor.

This was one of the many fight against injustice by Wike and a great commitment to the PDP as a party.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan acknowledged the huge contribution of the Rivers State governor to the party.

Ologbobdiyan said ” as a party, we are also working with our respective state governors and legislators across the country as they work hard, in line with the manifesto of our party, to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians.

“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, those enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of
Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor.

“The PDP appreciates the contribution of Governor Wike, as well as all our governors, to the growth of our party and urge all members and supporters to ignore those seeking to cause disaffection in our ranks”.

Nyesom Wike was born on  13 March 1963. He is the sixth and current governor of Rivers State. He is an Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpir, Rivers State. He was educated at Rivers State University of Science and Technology. 

Wike was appointed Minister of State for Education on 14 July 2011.

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