A Special Birthday Gift To A Special Man In Our Lives
Some call you high tension; transformer; armoured cable; ‘NEW’, an abbreviation for Nyesom Ezenwo Wike but I call you the lion of Niger Delta. You talk less but act more. Your guttural voice reassures me that it better to be led by one lion than to be led by a flock of sheep. You were born exactly 49 years as a son of power/strength/authority hence the name Wike.
I ‘fell in love’ with you during the governorship campaign when you came to address us at landmark hotel Port Harcourt that evening, on entering the venue you refused to move to the seat already prepared for you, you went ahead to have a handshake with everybody in the venue. Those who wanted to have a picture with you, you obliged them.
I told my friend right there that if I were a woman, I would not wait for you to either seek my hand in marriage or to come and pay my dowry, I would honourably pack my things and ‘invade’ your house. You talked confidently to us that I did not only vote for you but I also convinced everybody within my reach to do the same.
When the ministry of Environment wanted to indirectly regulate our private hospitals in the state, you called the commissioner of Environment to order. You went ahead to offer free loans to private hospital owners. Those noisemakers over there need to come and learn grass-root politics from you or better still, register as members of our Grass-root Development Initiative (GDI).
When Jonathan lost the presidential election, I said to myself ’it is all over’ but you showed that you are really a lion because that Jonathan’s loss energized your campaign. You are a man of the people; hence you talk less but act more. Before your inauguration, they sought different court injunctions to stop your inauguration/swearing-in, the same way King Herod wanted to terminate the life of our baby Jesus, but you escaped that evil plot because you were destined for greatness.
On the day of your swearing-in, you flagged off your ‘OPERATION ZERO POTHOLES IN PORT HARCOURT’. That was not enough; you moved from the venue of your inauguration to Iloabuchi to commission the rehabilitation of that deplorable road. The next few weeks you extended the operation zero potholes to all state owned roads in not only Port Harcourt but also to all areas of Rivers state. When our people complained of the Obigbo section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt federal road, you never waited for federal government; you moved down your equipment and repaired the road.
You were not a noise maker hence nobody heard your voice nationally but the people you are ruling in the state are saying that after God and Jesus, you are the next person. Your administration reopened our state owned courts, and either repaired or constructed new state owned roads. Since assumption of office, you have never insulted our president even in the presence of many political provocations.
When a judge in our state was invaded at night at what they called ‘sting operation’ you were caught on camera exonerating Mr President, by saying that you were aware that Mr President was not aware of the invasion of the judges’ residences. You studied one of the respected courses in the world and have a wife in one of the most admired professions ,hence you don’t talk like the people on the other side, who during their era insulted Jonathan.
They boasted that they were going to ‘roast’ you in the governorship tribunal and appellate courts, even when a renown priest wanted to make peace among all political gladiators in the state, they stated in the hearing of everybody that the only condition they wanted for peaceful resolution of the matter was for you to resign but at the end of the day, our judiciary lived up to expectation and your election was upheld by the supreme court. Some of the judges are now marked for ‘sting’ operation.
However, the elections of most of our state and federal legislators were regrettably nullified. A rerun was fixed in March this year, PDP cleared the coast and when they saw it was a colossal loss on their side, they refused to conduct elections in the remaining seats citing security craps as their reasons even when all the hotbeds of Boko Haram activities have federal and state legislators representing them. When our National Assembly intervened, they fixed December 10, 2016 as the date for another rerun, just three days to your birthday, possibly to mar it. They did not know that the good people of Rivers state are solidly behind you and we are ready to defend your mandate with the last drop of our blood.
Before the election, platoons of security men were sent down to Rivers state, I thought Port Harcourt was now part of the seceded territory of Bakassi peninsula but I was wrong as the security men were for the election. I was happy that our people were going to peacefully use their votes to show the opposition parties that we have memory and we have not forgotten how the last administration closed the courts for her selfish reasons or how our roads were dilapidated while they were answering national heroes. They converted Port Harcourt from Garden city to ‘Garbage city’.
However, when we started hearing negative reports of security men involvement in the December 10 rerun, it became clearer to us why such platoons of security men were not sent to Sambisa forest or Adamawa state.
Our people resisted all forms of imposition of candidates on them, if with the use of the security agents and intimidation of voters, they ‘won’ only one out of the three senatorial districts that tells everybody that Rivers state is PDP and PDP is Rivers state.
INEC was eager to declare the results for Rivers Southeast senatorial zone where voters were calling in on different Radio stations to complain that there was no election in some areas of the district. That was also against a recent court judgement. We still believe in our Judiciary as PDP will still win Rivers Southeast through the courts.
The most annoying aspect of the defence by our security agents is to say that those wearing police uniforms that disrupted the collection centre of Port Harcourt city local government and other areas are not their men. I then ask what their men were doing when those people invaded the centre?
Or were they sent to intimidate eligible voters? Where were the security men when ballot boxes were snatched? No matter the amount of intimidation of eligible voters, the voice of the good people of Rivers state is still the voice of God. They wanted us to turn your birthday to a period of mourning by withdrawing your chief security officer few days to the rerun over another specious and illogical reason, but they forgot that you were born on December 13, 1967 the same year that the Nigeria-Biafran civil war started hence from birth you have been used to such war-like situations.
Dr Paul John
Port Harcourt, Rivers state,[email protected],08083658038