RIVERS POLITICS: A Sinking Wike And Amaechi As His Twig ~ Chris Finebone

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A Sinking Wike And Amaechi As His Twig

With his desire to pocket and control the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) like a fiefdom crashing like a house built on quicksand, Gov. Wike is now settling down to play his usual rapacious and sour local politics.

He set the ball rolling by declaring to his close confidants that his number one task going forward is to rake up all sorts of mud against his predecessor and Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. To justify his threat, Wike opined that he was dead sure the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will give its presidential ticket to the Minister. He declared that it was now his self-appointed task to de-market Amaechi such that the latter’s prospect of getting the APC ticket will become impossible. The import of Wike’s insidious agenda is to make sure that Amaechi also does not advance politically at the national stage.

However, I think it is beyond Amaechi getting ahead of him. Gov. Wike is deeply concerned about what his fate will be post 2023. If anyone needs PDP to win the 2023 Presidential election so desperately, it certainly is Gov. Wike. From the corruption dozier on him as Minister of State, Education to becoming substantive Minister all under former President Goodluck Jonathan, Wike is a troubled man. His instinctive reaction to everything at the moment is to drag down anyone in his path right now especially Amaechi.

Ordinarily, Wike might not have bothered much with Amaechi even with the latter as the presidential candidate of the APC but heartbreaking to Wike is the very high possibility that APC, with 21 to PDP 14 states governors, is most likely to still win the 2023 presidential election. That is what looks like an abominable proposition for Wike to swallow. Noteworthy is the fact Wike himself has confided in close confidants that he foresees APC retaining power at the centre in 2023.

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On the vow by Wike to spend the last drop of his blood to ensure that his party and candidate win the governorship of Rivers State in 2023, this is understandable. It would be foolhardy to regard this vow as wishful thinking because, to the governor, winning that election in the State is existential for him.

By 2023 when his two terms in office will terminate, he would have been in office as governor for 8 years singlehandedly awarding all contracts, conducting variations without due process and authrising & effecting payments all by himself. He doesn’t care about his Commissioners because he knows he has not allowed them do their jobs but has taken over all such jobs.

For example, shortly after becoming governor in May 2015, he unilaterally and without input from Due Process Office effected an upward variation of about N9b on the original value of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road contract. He immediately cancelled the contract being competently executed by Rivigo Nig. Ltd. and re-awarded same single-handedly to another contractor and promptly paid N2b to the new contractor who is his associate. Such is the opaque style of the governor which suggests that the governor’s cupboard will be filled with petrifying stench by the time he leaves office by 2023.

With a shot at the national stage looking disasterous and punching above his weight, Gov. Wike will need ownership of the occupant of the Brick House in 2023 to afford him a political lifeline of any sort, hence the need for him to spill the last drop of his blood (going by his vow) to win Rivers governorship. My one kobo advice: he must not forget how a 72-hour ragtag attempt by Engineer Biokpomabo Awara brought trauma and tears to him in 2019. There is no doubt that a more calculating and better prepared opposition like APC will spell doom for him and his proposed protégé.

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Chris Finebone

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