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Why Gov WIKE Enjoys Cult Followership In RIVERS

 •The Story Of His Formidable Political Structure


In Rivers State, Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike sits atop a formidable political structure that has taken over 15 years to build. He started building his political structure immediately after he was voted in as Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. He first empowered the youths from the LGA with employment from the sales of car stickers around the LGA. Business operation permit revenue was also contracted to empower his people. The Motor Parks in the LGA were handed over to his people to generate internal revenue. The Local Government Council is Landlord to several multinational Oil Companies in Nigeria.  He handed over internally generated revenue coming from such Oil companies to his people. With the above internal political structure, he knows who is who in each Polling Unit and at every political ward in his Local Government Council.

And when he emerged as Deputy National Chairman of the Association of Local Government Councils of Nigeria (ALGON), he took over the entire political landscape in Rivers State and most of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, thereby forming positive alliances with other grassroot politicians across the 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria.

The Rivers State Governor is a smart politician who never delegates responsibilities to others, while he looks elsewhere, but he takes every responsibility seriously. In 2006, he aligned with the then Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to challenge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in securing his stolen political mandate as governorship candidate of PDP in Rivers State with a legal tussle that began in February 2007 and ended on 25th of October, 2007 in favour of Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi being declared the duly elected Governor of Rivers State in the April 2007 governorship election. While this struggle was on, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike emerged as the leader of a political pressure group known as the Rivers State Solidarity Movement (RSM). They remained together in the legal battle that ousted the Celestine Omehia-led administration in Rivers State.

Thereafter, he became Chief of Staff to Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. In this position, he carried too much political power, even more than the governor, as there was no decision by that administration that took place without his eagle eyes scanning through such government deals. While the governor was busy attending to administrative matters, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was busy arranging the business side of the administration.

Most of the decisions affecting the award of contracts and the sharing of largesse for political patronage never took place without his approval. During the second term electioneering campaign for the re-election of Governor Amaechi, he was the Director-General in 2011. He succeeded in getting a second-term mandate for his boss as a result of his political sagacity in having built his political structure across the 23 LGAs in Rivers State. By 2012, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was appointed a Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Education, where he also built a super political structure across Nigeria as the one in charge of primary education and tertiary education supervision. The construction of Almajiri Primary Schools across the 36 states plus Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja was under his watch. Here, he empowered a lot of his political followers, not only in Rivers State but across Nigeria. It’s even said that when his superior, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai left the Federal Ministry of Education, he constructed a duplex in her village as a gift.

In 2013, because of his governorship aspiration, he supported Brother Felix Obuah against the late Chief Godspower Umejuru Ake, the then State Chairman of PDP. During the state congress election held in 2012 at Port Harcourt, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike supported Brother Felix Obuah who went to court until the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed Brother Felix Obuah as PDP Rivers State Chairman.

He quickly formed Grassroots Development Initiatives (GDI) with structures all over the 319 electoral wards in the 23 LGAs. In 2014, he and other PDP stakeholders succeeded in making the incumbent Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC). He launched GDI in the 23 LGAs of Rivers State and was always at meetings.

By December 2014, he resigned as Supervisory Minister of Education. Gov. Wike maintained his political structure with support from former Minister of Industries and Investment, Chief Kenneth Kobana and Barrister Tammy W. Danagogo, the then Minister of Sports. The two ministers combined to purchase Expression of Interest and Intent Forms.

When he was elected and sworn in as Executive Governor of Rivers State on May 29th, 2015, he appointed Kenneth Kobana as Secretary-To-State Government (SSG) and later in his second term, he appointed Barrister Tammy W Danagogo PhD as SSG until he resigned to contest for the governorship primary election under PDP in Rivers State.


- Emeka Amaefula

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