WIKE: NIGERIA'S STRATEGIC POLITICAL TACTICIAN
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Rivers State Governor is a politician and administrator that you underrate at your own peril. He is a master strategist with an unwavering commitment to the stability and development of Nigeria.
On May 31, elected National Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, trooped to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital to hold their retreat ahead of the proclamation of the National Assembly. This retreat was no ordinary event. It was an event strategically initiated by the Rivers State Governor as an acceptance of his role as the new cornerstone of the movement to rebuild the PDP.
The retreat was to hold in another state, but Wike beckoned on the elected PDP National Assembly members to come over to Rivers State to chart a worthy route for the party. Former Senate President, David Mark recognised this rare leadership quality and sacrifice when he spoke at the opening ceremony of the retreat for the elected lawmakers of the party on June 1 at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt.
The retreat in Port Harcourt afforded the PDP the opportunity for introspection and bonding. It gave the party the desired leverage to rise from the ashes of a crushing defeat to face the challenges of repositioning Nigeria. It was a needed opportunity for the party to ensure the growth of democracy and the deepening of same through credible polls at every turn.
Wike also took time in his different interventions at the retreat to lift the morale of disillusioned members, telling them that with the quality members available on ground, the party would remain relevant in the political scheme of things.
He said : “ No one can honestly deny the PDP its due credit for successfully nurturing, stabilising and consolidating Nigeria’ s democracy to heights never imagined in the country's chequered political history.
“Power has changed hands and our party is the official opposition at the centre. We do not have any choice than to play this role that has naturally fallen on our party effectively as possible”.
“Fortunately, the PDP is not just one of the numerous spineless parties that ascribe the word opposition to themselves. The PDP is the only alternative opposition party to the ruling APC. This means that the PDP is just one election away from taking over power at the centre and all other states it is currently relegated”.
Without equivocation, PDP'S effective opposition status at the centre has started in earnest with Wike as one of the key drivers. The power sharing deal at the Senate which witnessed the emergence of Senator Saraki as Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu of PDP as his deputy brings to the fore the relevance of Wike's strategic political engineering.
It was not by accident that Ike Ekweremadu was nominated by a Rivers Senator, George Sekibo and his nomination seconded by another Rivers Senator, Olaka Nwogu. It was a carefully designed project aimed at ensuring that the nation experience political stability moving forward. It was a project of inclusion and granting a sense of belonging to all sections of the country.
As a master tactician, Wike's politics is grounded in fair play, justice, development and accommodation for all sections. Wike's political philosophy abhors exclusion, no matter the excuse. This has been his driving force since 1999 when he came to political limelight as a high performing and award winning council chairman of Obio /Akpor LGA in Rivers State. At every point, Wike has used his position to advance public good.
Little wonder, Rivers people opted for Wike despite the huge resources expended by the immediate past administration in the state to run him down. It is for the same reason that the entire membership of PDP has found in Wike, a rallying point to recover from the loss of the 2015 election.
Wike is a team player who believes in the power of the people. He is a leader whose eyes are permanently on the ball of development. He is never distracted by propaganda as he knows that posterity will always be kind to him.
Written by Simeon Nwakaudu.