• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Wike should not be intoxicated with power

Wike: “Mr projects’ goes to Abuja

Among the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) group of five (G-5) governors who publicly worked against their party in the last presidential election, the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, is the only former governor who’s still relevant today in politics as a result of his current position as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is currently in his second term. The trio of Okezie IKpeazu, Samuel Ortom, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Abia, Benue, and Enugu States, respectively, lost their senatorial ambitions.

Had Wike won the presidential ticket of the PDP, I dare say that he would have come in a distant third position in the election behind Peter Obi of the Labour Party. With Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Nyesom Wike of the PDP, the last presidential election would have been an all-Southern presidential candidate affair. With that kind of scenario, which states would Wike have won in the southern region, let alone the northern region? What Wike doesn’t know is that many power brokers in the country don’t get fascinated by his kind of political exuberance. He may have performed relatively well as a governor, but apparently, he lacks the comportment and qualities needed as a president or vice president of Nigeria. Having come in second in the PDP presidential primary election, why didn’t Atiku Abubakar choose him as his running mate?

Read also: If a civil servant could resist Wike?

Wike should thank his stars when juxtaposed with his current and powerful position today. If Atiku had picked him as his running mate, of course, both of them would have still failed in the presidential election with the political hurricane Peter Obi brought into the election. If Wike were Atiku’s running mate, he wouldn’t have been appointed as the minister he is today. The governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, wouldn’t be going through the political headache he’s currently experiencing. Wike would have become powerless to trouble the governor. Ifeanyi Okowa, Atiku’s running mate, doesn’t disturb his successor, which he literally imposed on Delta State just as Wike did with Fubara in Rivers State.

Today, Wike seems to be the most powerful minister in the current federal government. He goes about with an outrider and convoy even more powerful and sophisticated when compared with those of some Nigerian governors. I had seen the convoy of past ministers of the FCT, but none of them came near what Wike is currently using. I do hope that Wike doesn’t set a dangerous precedent in the FCT as regards how he has been elevated just to keep him on an equal level with state governors. He attends the National Council of States meeting, which is statutorily for the state governors and is usually chaired by the vice president. Will he also attend the National Council of States meeting, usually chaired by the president, with governors, former presidents, and heads of state, among others, as statutory members? Did former ministers of the FCT attend such meetings? I also read reports that the FCT has been removed from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) just to make it self-dependent or to empower Wike as a person, perhaps for political reasons. The TSA reports I stumbled on were unverified, but assuming they are real, why was FCT given such preferential treatment among all the ministries?

Wike should be content with his power and express his gratitude to God on a daily basis, not just for cracking his palm but for himself. Not many politicians are this lucky in life. His disappointment in not being chosen as a presidential or vice presidential candidate for the PDP has turned out to be for his own good and continued political relevance. He should allow Governor Fubara to breathe and concentrate on his job. If Wike was not a minister, could he have challenged Fubara? Wike should realise that power is transient. He should learn from his own predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, who was a very powerful minister in the first term of Buhari’s regime. When Amaechi used to storm Rivers State with troops and battalions of soldiers and was dragging the right of way with Governor Wike even right inside Rivers State, this writer was solidly behind then-Governor Wike. Today, the powerful minister Amaechi is politically stranded. Amaechi is almost politically irrelevant, both in Rivers and the country at large. That’s the transience, or ephemeral nature, of political power. What Wike rejected, he should not force it down the throat of Governor Fubara.

MADUAKO writes from Owerri via [email protected]