Speaking the Nations Mind

Nyesom Wike As Nigeria’s Political Conscience By Simeon Nwakaudu

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As you read this piece, you may quickly declare that this writer is saying this because he is working with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. Far from it. This is a considered opinion.

As I listened to Governor Wike’s 57th Independence Speech at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt last Sunday (October 1), I became more convinced that Nigeria needs more men like him. Men who have courage, yet possess the humanity to find solutions to the problems crippling the nation’s progress.

It dawned on me that we need more men with the strength of character to say the truth to power, when lesser men are bathing in the stream of sycophancy.

It is said that if one is afraid to tell a powerful man the truth , he uses a basket to cover his face before speaking. The case of Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is different. He tells the truth right away, not caring whose ox is gored.

According to him, death is closer to those who are afraid of dying. Therefore, in defence of the people, there is no need to be afraid. He also says there is no need to be afraid of heaven falling because if heaven falls, it will be easy for everyone to make heaven.

This is what the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu said about Governor Wike:

“I count Governor Wike as a special blessing, not only to our people, but to human kind. I thank God for the kind of courage that he has blessed Wike with. Today, he has come here. I pray that the blessing of Rivers State will follow Abia “.

The relevance of Nyesom Wike’s political, social and economic interventions can be seen from the viewpoint of the unpleasant silence of key figures in the media and civil society over the total dislocation of the foundations of the country.

Just run a basic background check and you will discover that nobody is talking. Those who were notorious vuvuzelas in the recent past are now experts in blaming the victims. They see nothing, they say nothing. A popular Tiv proverb says that it is not good to talk while you are eating. You know the consequence of talking and eating.

Because our media and civil society no longer talk, the APC Federal Government has been embolden to take rash actions that destroy the foundations of the nation’s democracy, judiciary, politics, social cohesion, economic growth and development.

It is for this reason that security agencies have become law breakers, using state apparatus of power to unleash horror, while criminals enjoy “security holidays.”

Governor Wike used his independence day address to draw attention to the challenge that the Special Anti-robbery Squad posed to the security of the state.

He said: “Apart from its visible involvement in election rigging, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)of the Nigerian Police has ironically and manifestly become the most serious threat to the security of lives and property in Rivers State. So many people who have been victims of criminal extortion, robbery, kidnapping and torture continue to recount their ordeals from this criminal gang masquerading as security operatives in the State.”

The politicization of security under the present dispensation has been one of the major causes of insecurity in different parts of the country.

There is also the deliberate failure to act on the proven case of the printing of fake INEC result sheets by Rivers APC officials. A leader of the party from Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area, Mr Atonyesia Peterside was arrested printing result sheets with approved INEC serial numbers. He confessed to the crime on camera, indicting a Former Commissioner under the Rotimi Amaechi administration as being his principal sponsor.

The Police High Command dribbled the entire country over the matter. They refused to investigate the weighty matter. Instead, the Police and INEC connived to use fake result sheets tendered by the Police at the Election Tribunal to deny Rivers people the required their mandate in Rivers East Senatorial District, which was won by the PDP.

Governor Wike said: ” We all crave for strong national institutions to support our democracy, protect our freedoms and advance our development. Unfortunately, instead of advancing our democracy and protecting our liberties, some of our most important national institutions, specially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Police have become the undertakers of their destruction by acts of deliberate compromise, partisanship and even sabotage in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.”

His commitment to the security of lives and property were further exhibited in Uyo last Tuesday during the Public Lecture on Security organised by the Inspector General of Police. Governor Wike gave the Police Chief his candid advice. He pointed out to him the consequences of bringing politics into security management. He also proffered solutions.

The governor said: “You (IGP) must allow the Commissioners of Police to work closely with their respective governors to improve the security architecture.

 

“Politicization of security is a major crime. Commissioners of Police work with Governors on the basis of the governor’s relationship with the powers that be. This should not be. Let’s not bring politics into fighting crime. A kidnapper does not care about the political party of his victim. Nobody is immuned from insecurity, irrespective of status”.

The importance of security cannot be over-emphasised. Without security there can be no development. Therefore, those who use government institutions to promote insecurity are enemies of the people.

Governor Wike’s advocacy for good governance at the Federal Level is another important highpoint of his pro-people politics.

He explained that once issues of governance, equity and fair-play are addressed, the country will witness greater unity and inclusive development.

This is the challenge to other Nigerians. We must join Governor Wike to demand good governance at the Federal Level.

Good governance is all inclusive. It revolves around equitable distribution of projects, judicious use of national resources, holistic fight against corruption, non-politicization of security, and the enthronement of justice.

If these basics are promoted, then we will begin to experience a functional federal government. The APC Federal Government has been crippled by the overbearing influence of too many powerful members of the ruling cabal. Selfish politicians who undermine development and the rule of law.

These words by Governor Wike during his recent visit to Abia State sums up the need for the revival of the development process.

“So many promises were made, but none has been fulfilled. Everyday, what they have to say is corruption, corruption, no other statement. Corruption from day one and corruption till the day they will leave office. What have they achieved? No roads, no infrastructure. I could not come to Abia by road. It is not possible “, he said.

All leaders, irrespective of their political orientation, must join Governor Wike in thinking about the welfare of the people. We’ve had enough of propaganda and the time has come for every leader to be considerate in his/her actions.

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