From Chris Anucha, Port-Harcourt
Chairman of Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), chief Felix Obuah, has described Governor Nyesome Wike has God-sent . He also spoke on his administration, among other issues.
You are very close to Governor Nyesom Wike, how did you meet him?
I have known Wike, since 2000, and we were colleagues as Local Government Chairmen, from 2003 to 2007. I think, I have known him for the past 17 years.
What kind of a person is he?
He is a very simple man; he is a focused man, an articulate person. Wike is very sincere in whatever he does. He is man of the people, a grassroots politician, and as a matter of fact, he is our God-sent messiah. He has actually put life in the people of Rivers State. When he started as a Council Chairman, little did people know where he was heading, he made a lot of exploits as a local government chairman, and everybody saw it. And as Chief of Staff, we have got many of them in this state, I don’t think there is any Chief of Staff who impacted so much on the people, like Wike did. He left there, as a Junior minister, he also did a lot of exploits, emerging as the best minister in this country, in spite of the fact that he was a junior minister. He toured virtually, all the states of the federation as a junior minister for Education. We have 36 states and there is no state Wike did not touch in the course of his job. That is to show how dutiful, and serious, he takes his job. He puts his job first before any other thing. And when he doubled as the coordinating minister for Education one could see what he did, he is a very transparent leader, no wonder the good people of Rivers state, the elders, the elites, met and said he is the right person at this point in time, to deliver Rivers state from the shackles of Amaechi and his myopic leadership. So, he heeded to the call of the people and decided to run for the election. You know it is not easy for someone to come and win an incumbent. Amaechi was an incumbent, he had everything going for him, but the people were not there for him because, he failed the people.
How did Wike defeat Ameachi?
During the campaign, Wike, being a grassroots man, moved from one village to another, one Ward to another, meeting the people and talking to them about his mission to deliver Rivers state. As a matter of fact, the people came out en masse and said this is real change and voted massively for a man of destiny. And today, you can see what he is doing, he is a detribalized politician, his leadership cuts across the length and breadth of this state, he is more of a stabilizing politician, he stabilized the politics of Rivers state. Before now, we hear of Upland and Riverine dichotomy in Rivers state. For the past two years now, we have not been hearing of upland and Riverine, everybody is Rivers state person. He has been able to bridge this gap, he is bridge builder. There are about 30 political parties existing in the state and 29 of them are given juicy positions, some of them are serving in Caretaker committees, some of them are serving in other committees, some are being given the privilege of traveling to the Holy land for pilgrimage. Wike has demystified governance and today, you can see that everybody is happy. See the road constructions and the development going on in the state, the whole place has been light up. When we came in, Port-Harcourt was filthy, with waste all over the state, but he gave a marching order, and today, we can boldly say that Port- Harcourt city is returning to the Garden city that we used to know it for. Wike is a man of destiny, he is a man I will always like to associate with any time, any day.
You said Governor Wike is God-sent, what do you really mean?
They say, ‘there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God (Roman chapter 13:1),’ Wike would not have been a governor, if God had not searched the heart of men and found out that at this point, we need a Wike, it would not have been possible. I used the word, ‘at this point’, because, it was at the point Rivers state was being sold out, we were like stranger in our own land, no development, our resources were used for other people from other states, they were coming here to milk us dry. In the midst of plenty, we were living in abject poverty, and God said’ no, my people can longer be living like this.’ And God said, ‘who will I send? He searched the length and breadth of Rivers and said,’ I will send the messiah of their time,’ and that is what I am trying to emphasize (prolonged laughter). Wike is the messiah of our time. Today, along the roads, in the creeks, anywhere he goes, people are coming out, chanting his name, hailing him. Today, Rivers people have changed his name.
From what, to what?
From Mr. High Tension to, Mr. Project, because the man is executing projects every day, supervising projects every day. He is a child of destiny.
How do you mean?
He is the governor who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rivers state, the Golden Jubilee of the state. By May 27, this year, River state will be 50 and the governor, chief Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike(CON) a destiny child, the man of the moment, the best governor of Rivers State, the best governor Nigeria has ever produced, will be the man to oversee that celebration. No wonder, The Sun also bestowed on him The Governor of the Year.
One of the criticisms against the former governor was that he locked out many politicians in the state from the scheme of things, that, he didn’t run an all-inclusive government. Is the present governor carrying the people along?
I have said it, and I want to emphasize here that Wike has gone beyond PDP, he has gone beyond Rivers state, he has gone beyond Ikwerre, Ogba, Ndoni, Ogoni, Kalabari. I told you that Rivers is now one state. He has unified all the ethnic groups in the state. I told you the era of Upland and Riverine was over, we now have one Rivers state. You can hardly identify who is Upland or Riverine person under Wike. The man has cut across party boundaries, I am the chairman of Intra-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), I am the chairman of all the political parties, I am telling you that virtually, all other political parties are part and parcel of this government. His achievements are unprecedented. He is a messiah o!
You are the state chairman of PDP, the way you are praising him suggests that you are likely to give him the ticket to contest in 2019?
Well, we don’t talk of tomorrow, we talk of today, Jesus said,’ give us this day, our daily bread,’ he didn’t say, give us tomorrow, when tomorrow comes, we will cross it, what we are after now is how to touch the lives of our people, power belongs to God, it is not my duty to decide who will be the next governor or not, power belongs to the people. The people will take the decision, I am not the one, if God says he is going to be there, and if the people say he is going to be there, nobody will stop him. Nobody will stop a moving train.
Finally, what is your advice to those that are still opposed to his administration, especially those in the opposition?
That’s the beauty of politics, we do it decently, maturely, with sense of humour, we should not play politics to the extreme, we should not play politics of do-or- die, we should realise that it is like a race, you don’t win all the time. Sometimes, you win, sometimes you lose. If you don’t win today, maybe, that’s how God wants it. My advice is that they should join hands with the governor and build our state. I could remember, Buhari once said that ‘Nigeria is our country, let’s put hands together and salvage it together,’, where else can we run to? Rivers state is our own, if we destroy the state and run to Abuja, we must come back. In spite of your political leanings, in spite of where you belong to, call it PDP, APC, APGA, Labour party, we all are Rivers people, we have something that bind us together, we have something that connect us, so, let us remember that there is always tomorrow. It may not be your turn today, tomorrow may be your turn. So, let’s join hands with Governor Wike, let’s join hands with the government to build the River State of our dream.