• Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Wike for presidency: The hidden seriousness in Wike’s shot at Aso Rock

How I completed 1000km of roads in 8 years – Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State shook Nigeria’s political firmament last week when he announced from far away Benue State that he has joined the presidential race. It may be where he announced it that made bigger news than if he would run. His body and verbal languages had said so already.

Wike made his intention known in Makurdi, Benue State capital, after a meeting with PDP stakeholders and stressed that his priority would be to tackle the festering insecurity in the country and engender rule of law.

He had said: “Let me thank the people of Benue for receiving me to come and talk to them. It is obvious that I am going to run for the presidency of this country. And I am declaring for the first time in Benue State because of my special relationship with them. People are merely not suspecting, but let it be known today that I am announcing it in Benue State because I have a special relationship with this state.”

Responding to questions from journalists on what he was going to be doing differently if elected President, Governor Wike explained that he would pragmatically tackle the issue of insecurity.

He said that Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies would be provided the requisite equipment and incentives to discharge their constitutional obligations. According to him, they will also be given timeline to tackle the lingering insecurity as his administration will not be disposed to excuses.

“Today, you can’t talk about security in this country and you must understand that without security you can’t talk about governance. One, first thing that anybody who takes oath of office sworn to, is that you must protect life and property. If you can’t protect life and property then you can’t talk about governance. So that major thing is that our people should be alive.”

The governor, who condemned the terrorists attack at the Kaduna International Airport over the weekend, said Nigerians urgently need a leader who can address the growing insecurity in the country.

Wike assured that if elected, his administration would engender the rule of law in order to attract more direct foreign investment into the country.

According to him, disregard for the rule of law by the present FG has been one of the banes of direct foreign investment in the country.

“Nobody can bring investment in this country because there is no respect for the rule of law. Nobody obeys court order. Who will come and invest his money when court gives its judgment and it will not be obeyed. So, I am going to run for election and victory will be ours.”

Governor Wike has meanwhile, accused some presidential aspirants who have indicated interest for the party’s ticket as being responsible for PDP’s failure in 2015.

Read also: Rivers United FC links performance to Eunisell’s sponsorship

He threw stones in all directions when he said: “Those who want to be president now were the problems of the party in 2015. They ran away when the party needed them most. But I have stood and worked for this party. I have nowhere to run to because I take it personal that the party should not die. And I challenge anyone in a debate what they did for PDP.”

The governor, while soliciting the support of delegates ahead of the PDP’s presidential primary, said he has all that is required to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wike also said that when some of those seeking to get the party’s ticket left to gang up with the founders of APC, he and others remained in the party and sustained it.

Paulinus Nsirim, his media aide, rubs it in

Paulinus Nsirim is the Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State. He is a man Governor Wike trusts very much. He came out to clarify the statement in case any Thomas was still in doubt.

He said: “With his declaration to contest for the Nigerian Presidency now out in the open, Governor Wike has not only laid several myths and rife speculations about his intentions for 2023 to rest, he has also, most importantly, answered the clarion call by Nigerians, both in Rivers State and nationally, to wipe away their tears.”

He said the bold step would solidify his commitment in the eyes of the people, as a voice for the voiceless, a champion of the masses and a brave generational leader with uncommon courage and unwavering determination to build a better nation.

Nsirim said Governor Wike’s impressive strategic administrative acumen, visionary focus and unparalleled capacity, were all unquestionable and verifiable indices which would ensure that he successfully delivered on the challenging mandate to bring responsive, pragmatic and responsible governance to Nigerians.

“Without doubt, Wike’s declaration to run for the Presidency of the country at this time, underscores the passionate and unpretentious desires of a greatly motivated leader, who has demonstrated in words and in actions, that he is indeed ready and willing to offer robust, dynamic, patriotic and unifying leadership, at a time when the very substance and essence of our nation have been systemically corroded and impugned upon in virtually every sector, by the dubious, divisive, diversionary and destructive administration of our common wealth and collective patrimony, as a blessed nation.

“Of course, his declaration is for now, only a statement of intent, pending the full disclosure of the remaining definitive guidelines that will guide and determine the direction and nomenclature of the Presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“One critical element which Governor Wike’s public announcement to contest for the Presidency has brought to fore, is the incontestable fact that the dire need to rescue Nigeria from the suffocating, disastrous, insensitive, cruel, malevolent and debilitating administrative cluelessness of the last seven years, is not a task for the sweet tongued, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chronologically encumbered or even the sophisticated but gritless candidate.”

He said Nigeria needed a leader who will boldly, without fear or favour, do the right things, make the right calls and take the problems of the country by the scruff of the neck and deal with them comprehensively and conclusively, without playing to the gallery, like a true gladiator and champion of the people, in a time like this that demands national heroism.

Governor Wike has all the qualities to defend and rescue Nigeria and now that he has declared to take up the onerous but challenging responsibility, Nigeria is much better for it and Nigerians can now heave a huge sigh of collective relief that the extraordinary man, admirably regarded across the country as our own national leader has joined the Presidential race.

Wike is coming to “ReNEW Nigeria and well meaning Nigerians are in total support,” Nsirim said.

He has made it clear that Wike will bring power and enthusiasm on the job. Most Nigerians already know him on those scores. He has also procured the form, whether directly or by “friends from northern Nigeria.”

He has also said if the presidency is zoned to the north, he might step down.

Seriousness of Wike’s declaration

Many persons like to disregard Gov Wike but this is only at their peril. Former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, now Transportation Minister, and Wike’s kinsman, former mentor, and now a adversary, is one man that never underrates the landlord of Brick House.

When their political war began in 2013, Amaechi told his camp in 2013 never to expect the war to end soon. He knew what they were up against. He later warned his camp to follow Wike to go to churches to pray because God forgives and hears prayers and could hear Wike’s. That soon proved right as Wike turned right at a thanksgiving to boast of how God heard his prayers and surprised his detractors.

Wike said he does not go into any election he was not sure to win. It means he has done his home work well and made his calculations. He spends heavily for his cause and does not spend to fail. He has severally shocked the APC in the state at elections, even when all hope was lost.

He went into local council election and won twice even when obstacles were many from as high as the Government House then.

He went in for governor but uprooted the power of incumbency in Port Harcourt and won, even when the PDP lost the presidency and fear was huge.

He continued to win and win for others to the point of stopping Amaechi and the APC from even standing any elections in the state till he would leave office. This is no easy calculation.

Wike has severally boasted that he has sources (spies?) in the highest places. He said he is always one step ahead of his opponents with info and intel. If this be true, storms must be ahead for his opponents. His declaration cannot be underrated.

Early campaigns

Wike may have started his presidential campaigns soon after winning his second term in 2019. He started the loud commissioning series that lasts over 60 days after each anniversary year. In doing this, he invites top national and regional dignitaries to PH and commission them. They are allowed to come with large retinue of aides and delegates who savour the Wike hospitality. He won the sobriquet, “Mr Projects”, given to him by his enemy camp, the APC (incidentally by the Vice President in an innocent way).

At every commissioning, he lambasts the ruling APC and Amaechi with national networks airing them live. He captures the failings of the APC presidency and spills it on network and moves on. These made him a national hero and the conscience of Nigeria.

Wike has fought for the PDP right from the day they lost to the APC in 2015. He organised a retreat in PH on how to play viable opposition politics. This served in many ways to heal the fear of loss and to rally them round to love being in opposition for a while and how best to do it. This also saved the party from mass exodus and disintegration.

Wike also fought the ruling party with court cases around Nigeria and won many of them. Soon, he emerged as the man who never loses court cases and this attracted many politicians to his camp. He embraced the Nigerian Bar Association and helped them to host conventions and bark louder at the presidency and ruling party. He has helped the judiciary in thick and thin; when judges were invaded at night, he was on hand to help. When the Supreme Court judge was invaded at night in Abuja, he fought on her side, etc. He also defended an ex-NDDC female managing director in the guise of defending Rivers women. It was well received.

He has funded the PDP to execute many worthy programmes that stood the party out. He has rushed to defend them in states where they were to lose such as Benue, Edo, Bayelsa, etc.

He has donated to many states such as Benue (N200m), Sokoto (N500m), Bayelsa (N500m). They have used these funds to escape huge financial crisis. The people in those states see him as a big brother and defender.

Yet, many persons are busy with permutations of whether he is doing this to cut Atiku Abubakar down or to shore up fortunes for Bola Ahmed Tinubu who incidentally is in the APC. Insiders say Wike does not do shadow fighting. He is either in or out, so he could not be fighting for anybody. If he goes into a fight, it is to win and for himself. It may favour anybody by accident, not by design, they insist.

Conclusion

Governor Wike is coming. He has bought the PDP form. Those who want to underrate him or dismiss his quest may only do so at their regret. Wike means business. Mark his word: “I do not contest any election am not sure to win.” He may lose but let no opponent think he is into window-dressing.