OpinionOPINION: Rivers' Political House of Commotion

OPINION: Rivers’ Political House of Commotion

July 07, (THEWILL) – Rivers State has turned into a political house of commotion. The crisis currently rocking the state is dangerously spiralling out of hand. The battle for control of the state between Governor Siminalaye Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, is threatening the existing peace and stability of the state. Therefore, urgent steps should be taken to prevent any attempt to impose anarchy on Garden City.

The relative peace currently enjoyed in Rivers and the Niger Delta at large should not be taken for granted or cracked on account of the personal political interest of two friends turned arch-enemies.

In fact, the strained relationship between both came unexpectedly too early. It was revealed that the godfather and godson turned foes when the former demanded a chunk of Rivers State’s monthly allocation/revenues much higher than what the latter was willing to offer. It was not surprising that as usual and typical of Nigerian politicians, the godson deserves to be dealt with accordingly for disagreeing with the godfather and daring to assert himself.

Glo

It was reported that arrangements were concluded for the impeachment of the governor by the State House of Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule, the factional speaker loyal to Wike, who also served as speaker under his administration.

A night before the appointed doomsday for Fubara’s ouster, a mysterious fire incident occurred in the House of Assembly Complex. Fubara went ahead to pull down the entire ruins of the complex after inspecting it and promised to build a new one.

Some members of the House and persons alleged to have perpetrated the act deemed loyal to Fubara were arrested and charged to court. Since then, the Amaewhule-led group have been sitting at the old legislative quarters of Port Harcourt mostly making a mincemeat of Fubara’s government. More so, they have passed laws and resolutions, held press conferences and issued press statements opposing almost all the policies of Fubara’s administration.

President Tinubu, who eventually waded into the matter to restore peace and tranquillity by extracting an agreement between the duo to bury their hatchets, was, however, surprised the cold war has festered despite his concerted effort to broker peace. Both contenders are now back to the trenches hatching plans on how to politically outdo each other.

This game of wits has substantially stalled the business of governance in the state. It has led to division between individuals, politicians and members of the House of Assembly, who are for and against the two political gladiators.

At one time, a video trended online where twenty-six members of the House loyal to Wike were said to have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC). The matter has been a subject of discussion and court litigation. Nigerians are still in awe as they continue to witness the acrimonious absurdity playing out in Rivers State between the governor, Wike and members of the State House of Assembly serving the contending interests of only the gladiator.

This crisis was exacerbated when Martin Amaewhule, who led a faction of the state legislature passed a law extending the tenure of the past local government chairmen elected under Wike.

This invariably handed the ex-LGA chairman a piece of legislation to rely on, a ground for acquiring court orders and judgment to aid their longer stay in office. It was clear that the law was passed to massage the political ego of one man and not to deepen and strengthen democracy.

The tenures of the LGA chairmen cannot simply be extended because one godfather, who occupies an office in Abuja thinks he is so powerful and can use his office to make Rivers State ungovernable. Any alteration to an Act of the State Assembly like this can only be effective when it is done in the overriding interest of the public not to satisfy the political avarice of one man.

Proxies have practically inherited and taken the fight between Wike and Fubara to another level. The majority of the state legislators loyal to Wike, the local government chairmen under his administration, who were recently removed from office have resisted the governor’s action and repeatedly shown no regard for the office of the governor. A certain Samuel Anosike has on several occasions undermined the office of the governor with his unguarded utterances.

Rivers’ ex-LGA chairmen and other politicians should stop acting like kids. They should be reminded that the insults they hurl at Fubara cannot be tolerated under Wike. Therefore, any attempt to create unrest in Rivers to spite Fubara or manufacture an atmosphere of insecurity to prepare grounds for the declaration of a state of emergency will fail.

Grown and educated adults should not present themselves as destructive tools in the hands of a man, who claimed to have bought the 2023 tickets of all the elected political office holders in Rivers. It makes no sense to act senselessly on the basis of being loyal to a mortal man.

Many people have grown tired of the overbearing influence of the man who thinks he is all-knowing. Fortunately, the people of Rivers have risen to protect their state in the face of this affront to democracy. On June 19, when the tenure of the local government chairmen expired, Rivers Youth took over all the local government headquarters in the state.

New caretaker chairmen have been sworn in by Fubara. However, the police have taken over the LGA headquarters and denied them access, citing efforts to restore peace.

Political power is naturally transient. Tenures of office holders are already determined by the law. Therefore, no matter what one does to remain politically relevant or stay perpetually in power, the end must surely come.

Nigerian politicians and those acting their scripts should enroll in lessons on the vain politics of leaders such as Idi Amin and Mobutu Sese Seko of Uganda and Congo, respectively. Despite the enormous powers both wielded at that time, their obvious influence, and affluence did not stop them from being ousted from office. They took to their heels when it became clear to them that people were fed up. Both died disgracefully in exile in foreign lands and were buried like common criminals.

In Nigeria, Abacha’s love for power and his sudden death, Babangida’s unending maradonic transition to the democratic process and his ouster are clear local examples of man’s insatiable quest for power, which eventually led to a devastating and shameful end. History will be kind to Wike if he takes heed.

Nigerians have shared their views for or against the crisis in Rivers State. One such comment that has garnered attention was the opinion of Chief Dele Momodu, summing up his impression and perception of the man Wike: “Say what you will, Mr Nyesom Wike has what it takes to deliver on good projects. He has the guts to initiate or conclude bold projects and hire the best contractors to deliver spectacularly.

“Like all humans, he suffers his foibles and idiosyncrasies. The unfortunate part of his trajectory is the lack of anger management. He easily gets carried away with the belief that money can buy anyone and do anything. Once you prove him wrong by debunking this superstition about money, he flies into a rage. You would expect a Christian like him to know and learn about forgiveness from Biblical teachings and injunctions, but not Wike. He must fight every enemy, imaginary or real. He also doesn’t know when to stop. Like a poor General, he fights on all fronts, thus leaving some flanks open.

“How I wish he would simply concentrate on his influential job in Abuja and allow Fubara to be his own man in Rivers State. When a man gifts the masquerade a goat, he must willingly release the rope.

“It is on record that he and Fubara were once chummy and that he helped the man become governor. But other benefactors helped Wike, too. Such is life. It is not too late for Wike to retrace his steps and reconcile with his people. Ultimately, he will still return home whenever politics is over. Let him bury his ego and anger… He has much more to gain or lose…”

*** Written By Sunday Onyemaechi Eze

 

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