Life Through Wike’s Binoculars


Never mind how frequently Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State exhibits an ardent streak bordering on the dramatic when he seizes upon an idea. What has become noteworthy is how quickly Mr Wike’s mind fluctuates on the idea.


By Barometer



In a series of published advertorials dripping with emotional bilge water, a grateful Mr Wike wished to, on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State, appreciate and most sincerely thank President Muhammadu Buhari for graciously approving the refund of the sum of N78.9 billion to the Rivers State Government, as cost of execution of Federal Government’s road projects in the State.

He crowed on, “Mr. President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State but, also, demonstrated expressively that you are, indeed, a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians. I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr. President to kindly oblige us with a State visit when invited, to see what we have accomplished for the State and our people with the money.”

While his statement above was in good spirit, the last time he fulminated about the federal government, it was to remind the federal government that Nigeria operates a democracy, not a military government.

With his characteristically effusive flair, he had said on that occasion that, “I am not one of those Governors that will beg you for you to help me. Beg you for what? The right things must be done, especially for something that is killing people. Every day, you hear new cases. They are not happy that there is no new coronavirus case in Rivers State. They are not happy, so their own is that let us do something that will make them have new case in Rivers State.

Days before saying that he had accused the federal government of being partisan when it paid Lagos, the hardest hit state by the Covid-19 pandemic, N10 billion to help its control of the coronavirus. At the time, Rivers had only one case to Lagos’ 120.

Meanwhile in September 15 last year, he had said of the President: “We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay us our money used to execute Federal projects because I don’t go to see him in the night, and I won’t go. He is not my friend, he is not doing well, but he won in court; should I say that the court did wrong? No. President Buhari, congratulations, but carry Nigerians along. Unify the country, the country is too divided. I am saying what is right. What I will do, I will do, what I will not do, I will not do.”

Although Mr Wike’s drama is a welcome diversion from the humdrum that has become Nigeria’s political clime, worsened by the global COVID-19 pandemic, he needs to be careful what he says when he is inflamed. His profuse eulogising of President Buhari would have been more natural if he had been more restrained in the past when raising objections to the same government. Few people can oscillate between beliefs the way Mr Wike can, but fewer people can do so without batting an eyelid.

[The Nation]

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