- Nyesom Wike is a charismatic leader leading one of the most effective political movements in the country
- As Rivers state governor, Wike, a former local government chairman and minister of state has distinguished himself well
- But the Rivers state chief executive is too combative and critics say it may be his biggest doing in the long run
FCT, Abuja – Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers state, is a man who has faced so many political battles in Nigeria.
First, as the local government chairman of Obi Akpor in Rivers state, then chief of staff to the Rivers state governor, after which he moved on to be the country’s minister of state for education, then returned to be the state chief executive of Rivers.
Wike is not your regular politician, he is always in the news either for commissioning projects, or having a verbal battle with another politician.
The Rivers state governor is a staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but sometimes fires shots at the leadership of the party.
He has also been involved in numerous altercations with some of his colleagues and opposition across the country.
Openly criticising members of his own party
In November 2019, Wike asked former Bayelsa state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson to leave the PDP.
According to Wike, Dickson betrayed the PDP by working against the party in his state and weakening its structures.
The allegation irked Dickson who began a media war with the ever combative Rivers state governor.
The Rivers state governor said he is ready to resign from office if Amaechi, the minister of transportation can mention his contributions to the state in his ministerial capacity.
Amaechi fired back saying he can’t bring himself to the level of Wike who he once appointed as his chief of staff.
No holds barred for Wike when it comes to opposition figures
Ten months ago, Wike described the former All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman as a politician without certificate.
Oshiomhole had accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state of having no certificate after the governor defected to the PDP.
WIke took it upon himself to respond, saying Oshiomhole is an illiterate who was depending on the courts for the APC to win the Edo governorship election.
Wike went on to lead the campaign team of the PDP at the guber election and won the party won convincingly.
The Rivers state governor dismissed the claims and described Umahi as an over-ambitious politician.
The Ebonyi governor responded later and it triggered a war of words between both politicians.
In May 2021, Wike criticised Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo after the southeast governor made a statement concerning the murder of Ahmed Gulak.
Wike wondered why the governor was quick to make allegations on the killers of the notable APC politician without waiting for a police report.
In that same month, Wike threatened to flog Alhaji Aliyu Babangida, a former governor of Niger state anytime he steps his foot into Rivers state.
Babangida had earlier described Wike as a dictator who wants to control the affairs of the PDP from his base in Port Harcourt.
Critics say although Wike is one of the best performing governors in the country, he needs to focus on governance and allow politics to be at the back-burner.
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It is not sure if the Rivers state number one citizen will heed this advice as he is always ready to comment on national issues, which sometimes, triggers another round of controversy.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, June 17, Wike said it is hypocritical for the APC to contemplate banning or regulating social media after using it to hoodwink Nigerians to attain power.
The Rivers state chief executive said the APC-led government has miserably failed and wants to use its disagreement with Twitter as a decoy to suppress criticism of the administration’s appalling handling of the affairs of the nation by regulating social media.
The governor, who made this assertion during the inauguration of nine reconstructed streets, in the Old Government Residential Area of Port Harcourt.
Recall that Governor Wike recently declared that he will never pay a visit to the presidential villa to ask President Buhari for help.
Wike made the statement on Tuesday, June 15, when speaking at inaugurating a road project in Etche local government area of Rivers state.
He also accused the president of shifting the responsibility of securing Nigerians to the 36 state governors in the country.