Is Wike So Exceptional? - Emmanuel Onwubiko - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday 25 April 2017

Is Wike So Exceptional? - Emmanuel Onwubiko

Governor Nyesom Wike is by no means your everyday politi­cian. He came into national limelight from the grassroots after spending qual­ity time serving in different capacities in his state of birth-Rivers State. As minister in the federal cabinet of the im­mediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nyesom Wike a consummate lawyer was the minister of State incharge of Education.
This Young and upwardly mobile political tactician left a legacy of quality service and imprints in the area of construction of Educational infrastructure for the disadvantaged street boys known as Almajiris.
My organisation(HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIA­TION OF NIGERIA (HURI­WA) was so impressed with his sterling quality of effective delivery of democracy divi­dends as a federal minister that we officially identified him as a Philosopher-king and invited him to deliver a national human rights lecture. Plato (427-347) rightly stated that: “Until phi­losophers are Kings, cities will never have rest from their evils”. Mr. Wike has shown that he is indeed a good Philosopher. It was during his eventful tenure as minister of State for Educa­tion that concerted effort was made to integrate the hitherto rudderless Almajiri informal education to the well organised and properly organised formal­ised educational system.
For the first time in recent memories the national govern­ment pragmatically invested substantial amounts of the edu­cation budget to upgrade the infrastructures for the rapid educational empowerment of the nearly ten million out -of -school children in Northern Nigeria. After his stint as the federal minister of education (state), this Ikwerre born le­gal practitioner cum political strategist made his intention known that he would vie for the governorship of Rivers State which at that time was firmly in the hands of Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of the All Progressives Congress.
Amaechi was railroaded into office as governor under the Peoples Democratic Party plat­form and after seven years left the party to sojourn with the then opposition party- All Pro­gressives Congress at the na­tional stage led by Major Gen­eral Mohammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Wike as an aspirant to the of­fice of the Rivers state governor didn’t have any fighting chance of displacing the then ruling APC, or so it seems. But due to his popularity amongst the rural folks Mr. Wike became the cynosure of all eyes and he rode to political victory against the candidate of the incumbent- Mr. Dakuku Peterside who was then a member of the Federal House of Representatives.
Wike became politically vic­torious courtesy of the popular votes and because respected Niger Delta activists and lead­ers like the Wife of the erstwhile President Mrs. Patience Jona­than endorsed his candidacy. My Igbo people used to say “he who has people is better than he who has money”. Wike’s victory at the polls in 2015 is a testament to the veracity of this profound Igbo adage. Wike like the mod­ern day Mustafa Kamal Ataturk (1881-1938) signed a social contract with his good people of Rivers State and two years down the line he has served creditably and is said and attested to have worked day and night to build enduring infrastructures for his people. He has replicated the wonders he did at the national level as the minister of state for education. There are bipartisan testimonies about his achieve­ments so far from such persons as the governor of Sokoto State Hon. Waziri Aminu Tambuwal and erstwhile President Jona­than.
I recently visited Rivers State just as i was a frequent visitor to Port-Harcourt during the tenure of governor Amaechi and i can state that the differ­ence is as clear as the daylight is from the night. Mr. Wike can indeed be called one of the few political office holders that are indeed discharging his campaign promises efficiently. One of my former colleagues in The Guardian who was the Benue State Correspondent whilst I was the Judicial corre­spondent in Abuja Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu who incidentally works for governor Wike was not out of place when he was heard telling some newspaper workers that his boss is the best governor in Nigeria.
If you doubt this credible testimony please visit my state of origin which is Imo or go to Kaduna, Zamfara or Benue states to see the worst forms of poor governance. Nwakaudu, a very prolific writer and jour­nalist had stated that in spite of sponsorship of negative media propaganda by opposition poli­ticians in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike remains Nigeria’s best performing governor, rec­ognised by leaders of all po­litical divides. Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Rivers State Newspapers Publishers Forum, RNPF, at the Govern­ment House, Port Harcourt, Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Me­dia, Simeon Nwakaudu, noted that Governor Wike’s excel­lent performance stems from his prudent management of the state’s scarce resources. He said that the people of Rivers State were feeling the impact of good governance. He said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Rivers State and lauded Gover­nor Wike for his outstanding achievements, confirming that the governor is ‘Mr Projects.’
He said no other All Pro­gressives Congress, APC gov­ernor can compete with Wike in terms of project delivery, pointing out that the success of the Wike administration is unprecedented. Hear him: “We challenge any other APC gover­nor to come forward and place his projects side by side that of Governor Wike. He is pay­ing salaries, pensions and he is doing projects. Some of the APC governors owe 10 months, 12months and one APC gover­nor is owing 14 months. Gov­ernor Wike is paying salaries regularly, he is paying pensions regularly and he is doing pro­jects everyday. We find it funny that someone who has been defeated and is suffering a psy­chological disorder because of the level of the defeat is coming forward to lie.”
Ataturk, the father of mod­ern day Turkey was determined to establish a modern nation-state amid the ruins of the feu­dal Ottoman Empire, which had undergone little industrial development. He believed that a balanced and equitable society, which could deliver the essen­tial guarantees of freedom and justice for individuals, could only be built upon a state’s un­conditional power to govern itself, or “the sovereignty of the people”. This, he insisted, could not be granted or negotiated, but had to be wrestled by force. “Sovereignty meant, first of all, democratic self-rule, free from any other authority (including the sultan-caliph), from reli­gious interference in govern­ment, and from outside powers”. Wike is a symbol of the People’s power. We pray God to sustain him in these good works.
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelon­; www

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