Emperor Wike’s Shenanigans in Rivers State

RingTrue  By  Yemi Adebowale

Phone    08054699539

Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com

While his reign lasted, he had absolute control of Rivers State for over eight years. I’m talking about Nyesom Wike who was the sovereign ruler of the empire called Rivers State. Yes, I’m referring to his absolute powers in the past tense because those influences now belong to the past. They ended last Monday. Wike was a ruthless and Godless ruler. At a point, during the 2023 presidential election campaign, he decreed that Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party must not campaign in Rivers State. Wike cruelly enforced it and nothing happened to him. Atiku could not step into Port Harcourt despite the freedom of movement in our Constitution. What a country!

Well, Wike has now been served a dose of his own medicine by incumbent Governor Siminalaye Fubara. He did not foresee it. When he was about to complete his second term, all those he felt would be difficult to control were shut out from aspiring to succeed him. Those who refused to back out were brutally dealt with. Farah Dagogo was one of those brutalised and left in a critical state for daring to aspire without Wike’s approval. In May 2022, Dagogo was carried into a Port Harcourt courtroom in an unconscious state to face trumped up charges and later carried out on a stretcher into a waiting police ambulance. Dagogo backed out amid the assaults. Wike eventually drafted Fubara, who was the state’s Accountant General into the race. He was so sure he would be a fool he would easily control. “Fubara is my boy, this one won’t give me any trouble,” Wike was quoted to have told some of his confidants after the deal.

With Wike’s grip on the politics of Rivers State, he effortlessly “fixed” the 2023 governorship poll for Fubara. In the real sense of it, it was a third term for Wike. He started running the government from his house just a few minutes after Fubara was sworn in on May 29, 2023. Wike imposed almost all the commissioners that served him on Fubara. Most of his personal aides were also transferred to Fubara. All the principal officers of the Rivers State House of Assembly were picked by Wike, with an open agenda to unleash them on Fubara if he “misbehaves.” “Call me Fubara”, “Tell Fubara to bring his papers for approval”, “Tell Fubara to come and see me now,” were some of the instructions marshalled out from Wike’s massive mansion on Ada-George Road, in Rumueprikom, Port Harcourt. The mansion, expanded towards the end of his second term with forceful acquisition of nearby compounds of innocent people (a story for another day) became the new Government House. The godfather became excessively overbearing. It got so bad that at a point, Fubara needed to get Wike’s approval before he could even take his meals.

When Wike was appointed minister and moved to Abuja, nothing changed. In fact, the oppression of Fubara deteriorated. Wike simply appropriated one of Rivers State Government’s aircraft for his shuttling between Abuja and Port Harcourt. There was hardly any weekend you won’t find Wike back at his Rumueprikom mansion brashly dishing out instructions and summoning hapless Fubara to endless meetings. Wike even collects “monthly fees in billions of Naira” for installing Fubara, so goes another allegation. I’m still expecting Wike to respond appropriately to this. He cunningly waved the allegation aside last Tuesday.

In the meantime, Fubara the Ijaw boy became frustrated. He got tired of being pushed around by an overbearing godfather who turned him, the incumbent governor, into an errand boy. He suddenly realised that he has Ijaw blood in him. Prodded by like minds, Fubara decided it was time to be his own man. So, when Emperor Wike arrived at his Rumueprikom mansion eight days back and summoned Fubara, he got a rude shock. The governor refused to budge. About two weeks earlier, Fubara had stopped consulting him for approvals. “This boy is joking with fire,” thundered Wike, who immediately summoned Rivers State lawmakers. He ordered the immediate impeachment of Fubara.

Unfortunately for Wike, six of the lawmakers, led by House Leader, Edison Ehie, refused to be part of the plot. They simply linked up with Fubara and leaked the plans. Also, the Ijaw guys around Fubara would not allow any impeachment. They fashioned a counter-plan to stall the planned baloney. The conspirators must not be allowed to sit. That was the watchword of Fubara’s loyalists, led by Ijaw boys. The result was the lawlessness that broke out at the Rivers State House of Assembly last Monday between Wike and Fubara’s supporters. Who razed the House of Assembly? Your guess is as good as mine.

Fubara has repelled Wike. He has won a major part of the war; the hopeless Rivers State lawmakers out to sack him can no longer sit. The issue of impeaching Fubara now belongs to history. I’m sure the governor’s next step would be to shut the Assembly complex for repair. The Rivers State House of Assembly may become history for the remaining first term tenure of the Rivers State Governor. Fubara has shown that Wike has no monopoly of violence. He has given him a dose of his own medicine.

On Tuesday, Wike shamelessly openly confirmed his war with Fubara and his instruction to impeach the governor. “All of us want to be politically relevant; all of us want to maintain our political structure. Is it not your political structure? Will you allow anybody to just cut you out immediately? Everybody has a base. If you take my base, am I not politically irrelevant?”, the FCT minister brazenly avowed, while dissecting his dispute with Fubara to some South-South leaders in his office. At another forum on Wednesday, he declared: “Nobody can intimidate me. If I want to do something, I will do it. Impeachment is not a military coup; it is provided under the constitution.” Clearly, Wike is the mastermind of the Fubara impeachment plot. It was all because Fubara decided to cut off his haughty godfather. Wike went for his jugular. That was why he hatched the unlawful plan to remove Fubara.

I’m so happy that Wike has finally been caged. For me, Fubara should go further by crushing him. It is still not safe to leave him caged. As an Ijaw boy, Fubara knows what to do. I need not say too much. This new Rivers governor is lucky that a number of Niger Delta leaders are standing up for him. One of them, elder statesman Pa Edwin Clark fired hot shots at Wike on Tuesday. He stated, “What has Governor Fubara done wrong? Refusing to be further remote-controlled? Wike was governor for eight years, nobody hassled him. He governed the Rivers State like an Emperor. He did not show any iota of respect to anyone, not even those who imposed him on Rivers people in 2015.”

The “love” letter of Chief Dele Momodu to Wike on his war against Fubara is also instructive. He declared: “Rivers is neither your property nor perpetual inheritance. There were governors long before you cut your teeth and there must be others after you. One tragic and fatal flaw of yours is lack of anger management. There are other flaws like forgetting that God has been extremely kind to you and that you will never be God, and so you should beg God to grant you the spirit of humility and the wisdom of Solomon.

“Your insatiable hunger and thirst for power is driving you into believing that you must have your way all the time… My dear brother, this is now the crux of the matter. You can’t eat your cake and still have it. You installed a new governor in the PDP. You’re a minister in APC. And you still want to maintain absolute power in PDP.  Please, have a quiet rethink and adjust your overbearing style a bit. Sadly, you’ve allowed Fubara to demystify you.”

It is only in Nigeria that a failure like Wike will still be going around, claiming to be a leader. As governor, he celebrated bizarre investments in flyovers amid ragged public schools and hospitals. This man called Wike equated welfare of the people with massive construction of flyovers. What nonsense! He does not understand the meaning of human capital development. While thousands of youths of the state roam the streets unemployed, Wike was busy constructing bogus and extremely expensive flyovers.

In this same rich Rivers State, while Wike was pumping billions of Naira into flyovers, about 99.9 per cent of homes had no access to something as basic as public water supply, while the state’s pensioners struggled to survive due to huge unpaid annuities. In fact, payment of pension and gratuities stopped immediately Wike became governor. I’m not sorry to say that Wike’s eight years were wasted years. He has no business struggling to remain the leader of the state. My dear Fubara, please, retire Wike permanently from the politics of Rivers State. I challenge all forces of good to support Fubara on this mission.

Killings in Borno, Yobe States

Borno State, the epicenter of Boko Haram is clearly still bleeding. The blood stains across Borno represent the crux of the matter. The likes of Governor Babagana Zulum care less. They have continued with the lies that the terrorists had been tamed. Eight days back, Boko Haram stormed Benisheikh, Kaga LGA and killed Sheikh Baba Goni Malumti, the Chief Imam of Benisheikh Jummat Mosque. His brother and two hunters were also murdered. 

Few weeks back, the terrorists killed 10 farmers and abducted many others in Mafa LGA. A fresh graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Baba Alaji, was among three civilians killed when the terrorists ambushed military vehicles escorting motorists along Gwoza-Limankara-Uvaha road in Gwoza LGA on September 23. They set ablaze five vehicles including a security patrol vehicle, with scores of people abducted.

As I pen this piece, Abadam LGA, on the western coast of Lake Chad, remains a stronghold of terrorists. Guzamala and Kukawa LGAs are dominated by Boko Haram and ISWAP. Gwoza and Chibok experience intermittent attacks.

Boko Haram fighters are also still very active in Gaidam LGA of Yobe State. Between Monday and Tuesday this week, they killed no fewer than 40 people in Gurokayeya village, in Gaidam, for refusing to pay harvest tax to them.

One of the things sustaining Boko Haram is the falsehood by those charged with the responsibility of protecting Nigerians. They tell lies about their capacity; they deceive us about achievements on the field. Daily, Nigerians are regaled with stories of bombardments of terrorists, yet, killings by insurgents persist. The Tinubu government and its new security chiefs are not acting differently. The President must think out of the box to end terrorism. The military strategy must change for this country to experience peace. Above all, Nigeria needs help from successful climes to tame these terrorists.

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