Rivers 2023: Stepping into Rivers Wike’s big Shoes
There is no doubt that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in this dispensation is the most performing governor, hence, his nickname; ‘Mr. Projects.’
Wike as a man of many parts has proven beyond every reasonable measure the true meaning of being in opposition. To some, opposition means opposing every action of the incumbent without changing the narratives in his domain. Not the case with Wike who has not opposed only the ruling APC verbally but with intense positive action.
No wonder when President Muhammadu Buhari awarded some people national honours, he deferred Wike’s recognition and honour at a latter date so that the number one citizen of Rivers State would be properly accorded his pride of place in the nation’s history of great achievers of history without lumping it with other political lilliputians.
Ever since the enfant terrible of Rivers nay, Nigerian politics took the mantle of leadership in 2015, it has been one long lasting legacy project after another. In a country where many state governors are rolling the drums to celebrate less than a kilometer bridge in almost eight years, Wike has been constructing bridges that would outlast him and remain solid for generations to come.
There is no sector in Rivers States that has not benefitted immensely from the ‘magic wand’ of Wike so much that most people now wonder how he does it given his ever boisterous self. Inasmuch as he is a thorn in the skin of the opposition and foes alike, they cannot help but secretly admire his numerous achievements which even the blind can attest to.
Apart from the human project initiatives, Wike, has also shown unparalleled loyalty and brotherliness in his actions or inactions.
This brings to mind the victory he won over the oil rich land dispute between Imo and Rivers states which instead of severing all ties with the neighbouring state stated that he is willing to give Imo part of the land should they request for it as they are still brothers. What more benevolence can one show even in victory?
In his six years assessment of Wike’s sterling performances as documented by Paulinus Nsiri, Rivers State commissioner for Information and Communications, it is instructive to note thus: “This unprecedented development coming at a time most leaders both in the country and globally used the COVID-19 pandemic as excuse for non performances, has not only become well referenced in the developmental narrative of the country, but has left many social commentators across the country, gushing with sincere conviction that the only person who can realistically beat the impressive developmental record which Governor Wike has set so far, is Governor Wike himself.
“Two major talking points have stood out in the last six years of the administration, which have defined his impressive leadership style and the brilliance of his strategic administrative acumen on the home front and at the national space.
The first is that Governor Wike has consistently insisted that his administration will protect the welfare and interest of every Rivers indigene and only the best will be good enough for Rivers people.
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The second is that he has become arguably the only Governor in Nigeria who has displayed sincere brotherliness, strategic brinkmanship and encompassing accommodation across political divides.”
With all of these attributes of Wike, it would be foolhardy for the political titan not to have a worthy successor to continue from where he stopped. At least that has been the fear of Rivers State people until his successor was named in the person of Sir Similaye Fubara.
Before now, nothing much has been heard about Fubara except that he was the state Accountant General. On a second thought, it is now becoming public knowledge what impact this unassuming man has been doing even before he ventured into politics and how he has been instrumental to the success of the unity in the PDP in Rivers State including those who are not in his political party.
His humanitarian nature which cuts across party lines has benefitted in no small measure humanity from his community, throughout the state and even beyond. No wonder he is well accepted in all the local governments of the state and outside the state.
So, filling Wike’s big shoes would not be a problem because Wike himself has attested to the ability of the gentleman Fubara describing him as a well-bred technocrat who understands the requisite experience in the workings of government and one who will definitely continue in the project spree and developmental strides that has made Rivers State the number one state in the federation.
Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.