Open Letter To Wike, Urging Him To Ask Nigerians, “Whose Ox Have I taken?”

By Isaac Asabor

Dear honorable minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwon Wike, if there is any political leader that has always held me spellbound each time he mounts the soap box to speak, you are undeniably the one, particularly when you were the governor of Rivers State in the immediate past political dispensation. No doubt, you have an oratorical prowess, though usually laced with jocular intermezzos that are capable of arresting the attention of any of your listeners and in the same breath cracking his or her ribs at the same time. What about your dress sense? I usually see you as a personality who has a likable dress sense. Without being funny, you have stylishly endeared me to trying the best I could to always dress well. This goes to show that you are a persona that is capable of inspiring the rest of us who love your favorite song that goes thus: “As e dey sweet us, e dey pain dem, as e dey pain dem omo e dey sweet us”.

As a democratic minded Nigerian, I have vicariously been following your footsteps, and have thus learnt from some of the actions or decisions you took as the governor of Rivers State in the last political dispensation learnt that real leadership is for the brave hearted. Sincerely speaking, I have a high regard for your braveness because in today's world, where the rate of change is continuously accelerating, effective and impacting leadership depends highly on leader’s ability and willingness to be brave.

As the then governor of the state that is otherwise known as the “Treasure base of the Nation”, you consistently demonstrated a rare leadership skills that portrayed you as a leader that has the temerity to question the conventional traditional and political wisdom by “disrespecting” a monarch, and vicariously undermining his subjects and how you went ahead to betray your party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) by working for the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) thereby putting you on an uncommon political position of proverbially eating with both hands during the last presidential elections, and such act of political treachery earned you your present status as the Honorable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Despite the obnoxiousness which not a few Nigerians see in the exhibition of your slapdash chutzpa most times, as some of my fellow professional colleagues in the media often complain that you are always in the news for the wrong reasons, I still reposes my confidence in you for being an ardent advocate of good governance.

For instance, 7 years ago, in 2016, you said on a particular Saturday in Port Harcourt that your administration had surmounted multifarious political and economic challenges to deliver on the campaign promises you made to the people. If you can recall, you made the foregoing disclosure when you spoke at a breakfast meeting with members of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, which was led by its past president, Mrs. Funke Egbemode. Then, the officials of the Guild were in the Rivers State as part of preparations for its Annual National Conference, which holds in Port Harcourt from August 3 to August 7, 2016.

At the meeting, you said you had remained focused on the delivery of worthy pro-people projects aimed at improving the lives of the people, and however, stressed that the state would have attained greater mileage in development if it were not made to face endless rerun elections and security challenges, some of which you said were politically-induced.

Recall you stated thus: “It is important for everyone to know that Rivers State is safe and is witnessing massive development. In the next two months, we are hosting many national events. We have already hosted several national events in the last two months.”

At the meeting, you assured that, “For me as governor, this is a privilege to serve my people and I will give it my best shot. I am ready to lay down my life for the state. My commitment to the development of Rivers State is total. I will forever defend it.”

On the rerun legislative elections in the state, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed in that political dispensation, you warned that anyone planning to rig the polls will be disappointed because the people were vigilant and ready to resist any malpractices.

You said, “Stealing the mandate of the people is a serious crime and it is worse than armed robbery. In this case, those involved in the plot to use arms to steal the mandate of Rivers people, they will never succeed. They came to rig the March 19 rerun elections and the people resisted.”

Still being pushy in this context to refresh your memory against the backdrop of the foregoing facts, it is expedient to further take you down the memory lane by recalling that you later led the executives of the Guild on a project inspection tour of Port Harcourt specifically on projects executed in Obio/Akpor local government areas. In facts, at the time, projects under construction and reconstruction works were at the time on-going. Sites toured cut across the NBA Law Centre, Woji -Akpajo road and bridge, Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Port Harcourt Civic Centre, and the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

In response to the Senior Journalists’ visit, and applause on the projects you executed, you explained that you had tried to maintain a balance between infrastructural development and workers’ welfare within your first year in office, even as you urged the media to always endeavor to report the true situation of things in Rivers State.

You said, “For our democracy to continue to succeed, the media has a major role to play. It was publicity that led to the failure of the Turkish coup.”

Unarguably for the good people of Rivers to have a governor that will sustain your developmental stride, you singlehandedly chose your then Accountant-General, Mr. Siminialayi Fubara to succeed you. On the motivations behind your choice, you described him as an achiever, and said you prefer someone who was part of your government and knows where you stopped, to succeed you.

You said at an event concerning your choice thus: “For everybody, you determine what you want to do, you determine how your future want to be, if you way to go away politically it is left for you. See what I have done and I do know he (Fubara) is somebody who is calm, he is not the talking type, he is the quiet type but he is an achiever, he knows where we have stopped.

“It is for him to make his mark; it is for him to fill the big shoe I have left. He has worked with me, he has worked in the system from 2015. He resigned as Accountant General some months ago, he knows the government, and he knows what the government has done”.

“It is my hope that he (Fubara) performs better and people will say look we are happy of the product you chose for us, that is my own happiness. It is not to begin to influence him. Influence him to do what? Is it to ask him for money or to bring money to my wife? What kind of system is that?

However, given some of the unprintable allegations that I have been hearing, so much that my ears are even at the moment tingling, I am compelled to urge you to speak to Nigerians in the similitude of the way and manner Samuel spoke in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 12 verse 3 where he said, “Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? And I will restore it you”.

At this juncture, accept my plea to say that there is no better way of forwarding this letter to you than sending it through this open medium. I will appreciate you don’t take my action, and some of the words I chose in this letter as an offence. While I have predicated the theme of this letter on a scriptural standpoint, permit me to also proverbially advice that when you gift out a goat to someone that you should also learn to leave the rope for him or her.