By Bisi Ezekiel
Prior to his election as governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has proved 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 Wike got the appellation of “Mr. Project” by commissioning numerous infrastructural projects to better the life of the citizenry.
The governor ensured that his administration is not in opposition to the Federal Government as he always seek partnership to move Rivers State and Nigeria forward.
However, he remain 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 any body or entity, whether internal or external. We will therefore not accept to be subjugated to a headmaster and pupil power relationship; neither will we 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 autonomous state entities 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 have been campaign of calumny against his yet-to-be declared future ambition.
When the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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 All Progressives Congress (APC) to suppress the opposition. He was swift in condemning anti-people policies of 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 eve of the Saturday, September 19 governorship election by policemen generated furore and large sympathy. Many Nigerians cindemned the injustice meted on the Rivers State 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
“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation,
that 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-Akpor Local Goverment Area. He was educated at Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
Wike was appointed Minister of State for Education on 14 July 2011.
.Ezekiel writes from Abuja