On the day that Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was told to leave Sodom, a very polluted city for a more safer and saner place, his wife lingered.
Although they were sternly warned never to look back, the woman could not resist the allure of Soldom. As she was being literally pushed to leave, she looked back and became a pillar of salt.
As the political crisis persists in Rivers State, many Nigerians are asking, why is the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike lingering in Rivers when he should have moved to Abuja in spirit, body and soul?
Some other Nigerians believe that the Petro-dollar that flows into the state on a monthly basis must be the reason the former governor is “lingering” to wholly face the FCT job.
Politics is like opium. But a few good men had tasted it and regretted the intoxicating nature and advised others to never bother to have a taste.
Thomas Jefferson (1767-1845), 7th president of the United States, said: “Politics is such a torment that I would advise everyone I love not to mix with it.”
In Nigeria, like in many other places, even in the developed democracies, politicians sit tight and refuse to move on with their lives after a tenure or two.
The political crisis in Rivers is as a result of some political actors of yesterday in the state refusing to realise that it is a new day.
Although they have been shown a new and secure place to move to, they are still, like the Lot’s wife, looking back to what they left behind.
Former governor Nyesom Wike excited many Nigerians with his modest achievements in Rivers State, particularly in the area of infrastructure development.
The panache with which he went about his governance endeared him to many.
But it is a new day, and having been compensated with a lucrative job in Abuja for his role in the Presidential election in February, it was expected that he should have been contented.
But he seems to be nursing a deep feeling of loss. He verbalises this at every opportunity he has these days. But the Ijaw Nation, where Fubara comes from, is advising the minister to take things easy.
At every turn he laments how Fubara is dismantling the structure he built.
This is the point he seems to have a problem with many Nigerians, including his admirers.
Many Nigerians wonder why he should insist that a structure that worked for him should not be tweaked by the incumbent governor to suit his own governance plans.
Wike still fumes
A few days ago, while addressing some leaders of Ijaw Nation at his Port Harcourt residence, Wike had reportedly told them that Fubara was bent on destroying the ladder he aerated with which he climbed to power.
The FCT minister also said that many other individuals were relying on the said ladder to climb to political relevance.
But his argument did not seem to strike the right chord with the Ijaw Nation that believes he is merely being high-handed and suffocating their son.
Ijaw group speaks
In defence of Fubara, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) called on Wike to make peace with his successor and political god son.
In a statement signed by Benjamin Okaba, a professor and president of INC, the group thanked the Rivers people for standing against the impeachment plot against Fubara and for speaking up against the crisis in the state.
The statement read, in part “We urgently call on all political players in Rivers State to play their duty to their constituents and forthwith cease from any further acts capable of slurring the sanctity of the office, institution and person of the Governor of all Rivers people.
“We specifically appeal to Chief Nyesom Wike, to retrace his steps from stoking division of any sort against the government of the day under the guise of protecting his ‘structure’. The political structure to which he refers should not be rolled up with the structure of the government of Governor Fubara as one entity under anyone’s thumb.
“On our part, the Ijaw National Congress worldwide, at all levels and organs across Ijawland and the diaspora should be alive to the sacred responsibility of watching over and protecting the interests of our people anywhere and anytime.”
Joseph Evah weighs in
The other day, while featuring on the Channels Television Sunrise Daily, Joseph Evah, co-ordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), expressed sadness at the lingering political impasse between Wike and Fubara.
He accused Wike of attempting to carry out a coup against Fubara, saying, “You teargased a sitting governor; it was an attempted coup. So, why must we not support our own?
“Everybody supports his own. Buhari’s people supported him. Yoruba people supported Tinubu. The Niger Delta supported Jonathan. It is like that.
“When Babangida annulled the Abiola election in 1993, the Yorubas did not take it lightly. It was in an effort to compensate the Yorubas that two presidential candidates emerged in in 1999- Obasanjo and Falae. At the end, Obasanjo emerged. People believed it was okay to do so.”
Evah said that if Governor Fubara did anything that the minister did not like, he should tolerate the governor, after all, “others also helped him (Wike) to become what he is today.”
The IMG leader pointedly said that Wike’s insistence on removing the governor was unacceptable.
“We want the governor to cooperate with his mentor. Tinubu should intervene and call Wike to order. Ikwere people will not fold their hands if people want to mess up their own son. Fire is on the mountain in Rivers. President Tinubu should intervene to quench the fire. Port Harcourt is our own Lagos. Port Harcourt is our own Abuja,” he said.
Passionate appeal to FCT Minister
In a loving open letter by Richard Akinola, who described himself as Wike’s “admirer and critic”, he reminded the former minister that God has been very kind and gracious to him. He urged the former governor to face the future and not look back to the things he has left behind.
Akinola urged Wike to extend the forgiveness and pardon he enjoyed from former governor Peter Odili to Fubara.
“God has been so good to you. Though I don’t have the details of your feud with Fubara but you claim he is an ingrate but this same ‘ingrate’ took bullets for you as your Accountant-General when the EFCC was investigating your government.
“If you didn’t have confidence in him, you wouldn’t have put him forward to succeed you. Please, rise above political offences and be a leader. May it not be counted against you that since 1999, your successor would be the first Governor of Rivers State to be impeached.
“No garland for such feat. It would be a pyrrhic victory, and your new political masters in Abuja would even be wary of you.You are new to Tinubu’s school of politics.Don’t get carried away,” he said.