Wike versus Fubara’s red biro, by Ochereome Nnanna

Wike versus Fubara’s red biro, by Ochereome Nnanna ABUJA Minister, Nyesom Wike, held absolute power for eight years as Governor of Nigeria’s foremost oil state, Rivers State. Yet, he did not really understand what power was. As Governor, Wike caged his predecessors, the same ones that built up his political career. There is an adage among my people that a person who dresses a violent masquerade must be very careful because once dressed, the masquerade could flog him silly. Famous Italian philosopher, Nicolo Machiavelli, also said a king first destroys those who gave him power because he sees them as potential threats. It is great tomfoolery to hand power to someone and continue to strut around like a conceited rooster: “I gave him the power; it was a mistake which I will correct at the appropriate time”. What will remain of you when that time comes? Unkown to Wike, many of those people who were clapping for him when he made this boast in Rivers State over the weekend were already weighing their options because politicians cannot stay too long away from the cookie jar which is now firmly in Fubara’s lap. Wike’s position is very precarious. As a minister, he is under the scrutiny of many eyes, including those of President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly. The President and his ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are hoping to use Wike to finally capture Rivers State electorally from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the first time since 1999. As Wike’s power continues to dwindle, Tinubu will likely deploy him to factionalise the PDP. By then, Wike would have shrunk to the political stature of Lamidi Apapa, who is at work for Tinubu in efforts to divide the Labour Party. Then, he will know the meaning of the saying: “power is transient”. Governor Siminalayi Fubara is now in clear ascendancy. Wike’s provocative disruptions have pushed Fubara to arm himself with dictatorial powers. He can afford to contemplate demolishing the living quarters of the 27 former lawmakers who decamped to the APC. The law says they have lost their positions, having moved from the party that produced their mandates to another, without their former party being factionalised. The case is in court, but I do not envy their positions. Fubara is so entrenched that he can afford to move his four loyal PDP lawmakers into the Government House. Yet, few people are expressing outrage or yelling impunity. They are not outraged because they feel Fubara has the right to protect himself even if it means temporarily helping himself to impunity. Wike’s problem, as I pointed out above, stems from his lack of understanding of power and the context in which it operates. When he was still a bona fide leader of the PDP, Wike condemned all the actions that he is now indulging in. He called the APC a “cancerous” party, yet he colluded with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to procure an undeserved victory for the party’s presidential candidate, Tinubu. For that he “earned” his post as FCT Minister, thus becoming a willing tool of the “cancerous” ruling party. Also, when Wike was Governor, he mocked godfatherism, with Bola Tinubu’s Lagos State clearly in mind. Tinubu is the only former governor who was able to pocket the state he ruled since 1999. All the other governors who tried to re-enact the same in their states – Orji Kalu of Abia, Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, James Ibori of Delta, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara, you just name it – failed. Tinubu succeeded because of the underlying cultural predilections of the Yoruba people which he capitalised on. We saw something like it in Olusola Saraki’s Kwara State and Lamidi Adedibu’s Oyo State. Tinubu simply refined their tactics, integrating the political, socio-cultural organs and the entrenched hoodlums of the society into the patronage of his machinery. The political and socio-cultural setting in the South-East and South-South are different. Even where there are deeply-entrenched monarchies, the basic reflex is republican. When you are in power, you can enjoy all the glory. But once your time is up, you must move on. You don’t sell the goat and hold on to the rope you used to drag it to the market. It was ill-advised of Wike to play the Jagaban in Rivers State politics. Rivers is not Lagos. There is simply no way you can fight the man with the red biro in a state like Rivers where virtually every indigene derives his/her daily bread or wealth directly or indirectly from their connection to government. Former Governor Odili was wise. He went home quietly when he left office, or his former political lackey, former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, would have emasculated him. Amaechi is also wise. After losing his presidential bid, he too went home and kept mum. Wike has exposed himself. He must face the consequences. My only worry is: What will Fubara do with his red biro? Will he use it to serve the people of Rivers State, or will he dance naked in the public like his predecessors? Odili spent hundreds of billions of Rivers people’s naira bankrolling former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s political projects, including his aborted third term bid, in the quixotic hope of being anointed president. He was unceremoniously tossed aside for Umaru Yar’Adua. He was not even considered for Vice President. We saw what happened to Amaechi after he financed the APC with the Rivers people’s money. He was rewarded with Transportation Minister and a meaningless Daura chieftaincy title after building railway for Muhammadu Buhari from Kano to Maradi. Wike also “invested” heavily from the public treasury to anoint Tinubu. Will Governor Siminalayi Fubara be different? Will he use his red biro strictly to serve Riv


Sponsored Images

Dear Readers, Good and credible news reportage is tedious task and requires huge finances.

We are soliciting your Noble support for as low as N1,000 your support would go a long way in assisting us to continue to guarantee our readers quality news.
Bank transfers can be made to:
Account Name: Harvest and Commercial
Bank: Sterling Bank
Account Number: 0078627735