Nyesom Wike: A Thorn in Their Flesh or Rabble Rouser?


By Ernest Omoarelojie

September 23, 2022


Rivers state governor, Nyeson Wike, has been in the news. It is not unusual given his collosal developmental strides in the oil state, where he is celebrated as Mr Bridge, due largely to the seemingly unassailable number of bridges he has constructed over his largely riverine state. No one can doubt this.
Recently, he has also become notoriously popular. That is, if one puts into view the face off between him and national leaders of his party since the outcome of its presidential primary where he came a distant second to former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku. Since then, he has had to put the reason for his disastrous outing on the doorstep of the party chairman, Sen Iyorchia Ayu. Among others, he accused the Benue borne former senate president of manipulating the election outcome to favour the Turakin Adamawa.
Conveniently, the Rivers state governor picked up rather sound reasons for demanding that Ayu resigned from the chairmanship position, without which peace may not return to the beleaguered party. According to him, the party cannot have a northern presidential candidate and at the same time be led by a chairman of the same extraction. There has to be a balance for the sake of equity and fairness, he insists.
Even more so, the rather tempestuous Wike insists both Ayu and Atiku deferred to the need for equity and fairness when at different fora, they agreed on the need for Ayu to vacate the office. Ayu, he said, made the declaration openly prior to the prior when he said he would step down at the emergence of a northern flag bearer, with Atiku putting a seal on it when he paid him (Wike) a post primary reconciliation visit in Abuja. Both promises, he lamented, have been thrown out through the window, inexplicably.
Since then, no day has passed without a dose of Wike wacking in the nation’s political news space. The trend became more manifest in the now fruitless testimonial meetings in Port Harcourt, Abuja, London, Dubai, name it, designed to sort out the stagnating dust. He has been too interesting to ignore. He raised the ante when, a few days ago, he announced that he would be addressing the media in a go-down-below expose. The briefing has come and gone but it turned out to be another tale bearing, snitching exhibition, leaving many to wonder if he is indeed a justified thorn on the skin of the PDP, Ayu and Atiku or just a bad loser, tale bearer or rabble rouser.
In the main, Wike ratted on his party and its officers, reiterating his identification of the party as one being led by hypocrites, self evidently manifest in the refusal of both Ayu and Atiku to live up to terms of agreement reached with respect to national office sharing formular. Ayu, he reemphasized, publicly vowed to resign his position as chairman of the party with the emergence of a Northern presidential candidate. Atiku, he added, made the point in a reconciliation visit to his house in Abuja. The action, he surmised, is a hidden agenda with a sinister northern tinge. Certainly, the volte face would qualify to justify his rage. The only challenge, a big one at that, is that he does not seem to know when and where to stop pushing his luck or apply the brakes, as some would say.
Wike didn’t just rat on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, it’s key officers, including Ayu and Atiku, he went the extra mile of also snitching on the flag bearer of his party’s main rival in the 2023 General elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu. According to him, the former Lagos state governor promised to reward him with a senatorial seat, arguably on the condition he sold out on his party. Many observers are still hard put explaining the side kick given that it does not even help veer off PDP’s hammer if it were anywhere in the horizon. That’s by the way, anyway.
But perhaps unwittingly, Wike, it would seem, has gone all out to do himself. If he needs a reminder, he should be told that he has, by his conduct, irretrievably defined his national political value along a very defaming line. More than anything else, his conduct has carved him out as a bad loser and tale bearer that is not worthy of trust. That much is not a surprise given the underlying reasons for his seemingly intractable rift with his erstwhile benefactor, Rotimi Amaechi.
As a true politician, Wike ought to have gone over his bitterness by now, forget the presidential primary experience and forgive those who engineered it having drawn vital lessons from it, with the future in view. Getting stuck on it is hardly the quality of a good politician because it would have a telling outcome on him, going forward. Take or leave it, his present attitude puts him nowhere near any relevant or worthwhile future dream in national politics any more than he already is. It doesn’t matter that his angst is justified, seemingly.
Succesfully too, Wike opened up the soft underbelly of the PDP standard bearer, Atiku. Before the unfolding drama, the former Vice President was touted by party stalwarts and supporters as the ultimate unifier. As far they are concerned, he is the long sort messiah the country requires urgently to reconcile its flagrantly divided people. If, as it were, he failed woefully to sort out a micro reflection of the Nigerian divide, it is needless to hope he can be of use as the long-sought Nigerian unifier. That’s no rocket science, anyway. Arising from that, it is even more glaring that it is not the PDP that is on trial now. It is Wike who, by his own making, told the world that he is tale bearer and a rabble rouser that is not trustworthy.

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