Governor Wike and the Unity of Nigeria
Friday Column with Zayyad I. Muhammad
The ideal way to identify true nationalists and good politicians is through their utterances and actions both in public and in private. A true lover of Nigeria will always stand for the unity and oneness of Nigeria whenever he talks or acts. Good politicians will ‘spit’ fire and intimidate their opponents but will never compromise the unity of a nation.
Some people were surprised when the Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike said the interest of Nigerians and Africans will be better served with the country “remaining as one strong and united nation”.
Governor was quoted when he visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad while on a visit to Sokoto state on 31st December 2016 to felicitate with Governor Aminu Tambuwal on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding. Wike said “We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers state to be specific so I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country”
Wike further said his administration has put a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets especially the ones in Rivers state. He said: “In Rivers you hardly find pipeline vandalisation. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am governor for all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but a governor for all the people of Rivers state”
Some individuals, who don’t really understand how politics works, assume that since Gov Wike is having a running battle with some APC’s bigwigs from Rivers, he will behave in irrational ways. People who have this kind of mindset fail to realise that not all politicians in the opposition PDP take the opposition out of context.
Wike’s assertions are classical examples for many politicians to follow, especially elective office holders who take opposition to illogical levels with utterances and actions capable of putting the unity of Nigeria in jeopardy.
With that single utterance in Sokoto, Wike has won the heart of many Nigerians, while also sending a powerful message to groups and individuals who trade the unity of Nigeria for political and personal gains.
Being a sitting governor in the restive Niger Delta and the politically very important Rivers state, Gov Wike’s stance on some national issues is very critical for bringing the much needed peace and development to the Niger Delta and preserving the unity of Nigeria.
Governor Wike has indeed put to shame, some politicians holding positions of authority, who have turned themselves into agents of disunity by running their mouths without caution just to score political and personal points.
Governor Wike has found himself in some controversial political and non-political situations. The controversial October 8, 2016 mid-night show played out at the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Port Harcourt when he rushed to the official residence of a Federal High Court (FHC) Judge, following information that the residence was under siege by Department of State Security (DSS), and the Governor allegedly got locked up in the process.
Wike later clarified while speaking to the leadership of Non-Indigenes without Borders, on October 18, 2016, at Rivers state Government House, that his action was not aimed at stopping the DSS from arresting the judge, but to ensure that the right process was followed.
Secondly, on Thursday December 29, 2016, an online news medium leaked an audio of a telephone conversation between Governor Wike and his counterpart in Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose, in which both men were alleged to have discussed the electoral violence alleged to have been sponsored by Wike during the December 10, 2016 rerun of legislative elections in Rivers State.
Politics and politicians cannot be free from controversies; however Governor Wike has proven to be above sentiments and lust for personal gains when it comes to the very important issue of unity and oneness of Nigeria.
Zayyad I. Muhammad, is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at www.zayyaddp.blogspot.com