An Open Letter To Nyesom Wike: Please Give Peace A Chance In Rivers State


    Your Excellency, I bring you warm greetings from the creeks of the Niger Delta. You may never have met me in person, but as my former governor, you’re as much as connected to me as I am to you. For 8 years, you bestrode the landscape of this country like a colossus, thanks to the mandate we freely gave to you as our governor and chief executive officer of the oil-rich Rivers State. Of the truth, you gave a good account of yourself as a governor, most especially in the area of comic relief. With you, there was never a dull moment. The news of your appearance on any national television for a paid or pre-planned programme always catches the attention of many Nigerians regardless of their locations. They stayed glued to their television sets, eagerly anticipating the comment from you that they could trend. You’re indeed a content creator and became the poster boy of every funny character in politics. If you had not succeeded as a lawyer or politician, there would have been a special place for you in the Nollywood Hall of Fame because you possess all it takes to be a successful actor and comedian.

    The Rivers people became used to you and accustomed to your ways. It was at a time when the Buhari administration was pressing our necks, and we needed every opportunity to breathe. You were that fresh air that blew from the toxic and contaminated waters of the Niger Delta to the desert encroaching fields of the North.
    What you forgot, sir, is probably the fact that everything that has a beginning always has an end. The maxim that it’s best to leave the stage when the ovation is loudest was apt for you. But while you commendably left the stage without choice, for a worthy successor in the thick of the ovation, you acted the biblical “Lot’s wife” when you decided to look back and throw a spanner in the wheels of the progress your successor is driving in the State.

    For the feeble mind, power is sweet. It takes a mature mind to know that power is also transient. Power also belongs to God, and he can give it to whosoever he pleases at his own time.
    You owe everything you are today to Rivers State. You were never known to have excelled so much in your legal practice before fortune smiled on you and made you the Council Chairman of Obior/Akpor Local Government. But for this rare opportunity Rivers State and democracy offered you, you would have ended up in the creeks as a militant even with your law certificate. There’s nothing known about you today that’s not linked directly or indirectly to Rivers State government and her good people. Your time as Minister of State for Education is not so memorable or eventful, and that period can be rightly described as an interlude in your public service career. But if it is of any good report, it was still Rivers State that gave you the opportunity to represent her at the Federal Executive Council. It is left to posterity to judge how you maximised this opportunity.

    Yes, your name can not just be wiped from the history books of Rivers by a duster, but history is what it is; it is just a history.
    To continue to foul the air of Rivers State from outside because you want to be a supremo is uncharitable of you. Even a lunatic has his nuisance values, and an armed man can hold a multitude of people captive. So a man who has held the position of a local government chairman and State governor, making him the Chief Security Officer of a State, can unsettle the peace of that State if he so wish and that’s what you’re currently doing. It doesn’t make you a powerful man.

    You should count it a privilege for the positions you’ve held in the past as you’re not the most qualified indigene of the State. That’s the only way you can appreciate the grace of God.
    With all you did for the State, the Rivers people have moved on and would love to quickly confine you to the dustbin of history. They won’t want to be drawn into an argument with you to know who is more powerful between you and God. They can concede that to you without a second thought if that’s all you want and if it’s a condition for peace. Our people are not known to fight for God; God always fight for them.
    They know you can hold back the rains from falling in Rivers State if you so wish, but they have come to the realisation that their life doesn’t depend on rain alone, and wished you can keep the rains while they hold their peace and maintain their sanity.

    Your successor, His Excellency, Siminalayi Fubara is not so much a drama king. A man of few words and a lover of peace. All he craved was an opportunity to serve and not a platform to fight. From a humble background, he knows God has done so much for him, and any further step up the ladder can only be of God’s benevolence. Though your tenure as governor has expired, you do not need the vote of anyone to be an indigene of the State and whenever the governor publicly seeks the support of all to succeed, he’s making a direct appeal to you and others as no one is more indigent than others.
    With a ministerial portfolio that bestows on you the functions of a governor, you must have realised by now that there’s no where like home. You can no longer afford the luxury of assembling traditional rulers to abuse them like you used to do in our state. With the benefits of hindsight, that should humble you. But it should also tell you how the traditional leaders in Rivers State now cherish someone who respects them and bring a modicum of decorum to governance. For them, it’s freedom at last, and they definitely don’t miss you. Today, projects conceived by the state government are spread across the state, and the era of using projects to settle political scores or arm-twist someone to support you is now a thing of the past. If you were not in power, you would have also cherished this newfound freedom for all.
    No doubt, you love building bridges and accord bridges more respect than human beings. That makes Abuja a perfect fit for you, and I do not envy you as you now have the opportunity of talking to bridges and relating with them as you wish. So concentrate on your new assignment and allow Governor Fubara to repair the damages you did to the psyche of our people continuously for 8 years.
    No one is in a competition with you, not even Governor Fubara. Please calm down before you become a victim of your own insecurity.

    Your brother,

    *Dr. Peter George,
    Port Harcourt, Rivers State.