By Odimegwu Onwumere
The killing of 21 persons said to be returning to their homes after the crossover night of 2017-2018 service in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Council and other restiveness in Rivers State, have become an albatross to Governor Nyesom Wike of the state; a puzzle he would rather blame-game instead of accept the reality of the mishap in his governance and find a lasting solution to the problem.
Instead of prop-up for possible means to shorten the impasses, Wike rather resorted to lengthening his hand for help from the Federal Government (FG), like a child badly beaten and decided to roll on the ground and raises hands up for help; a FG he had severally criticised as inept? As-an-alternative for Wike to do everything within his constitutional power as Govenor of Rivers State to curb the epidemic of killings in Rivers (as they have gotten out of hand), he was
circuitously and barefacedly calling for assistance from the FG?
This call for help is a body language suggesting that Wike is handicap in handling Rivers State and yet, would not want to resign.
The incessant killings in Omoku in particular since late 2015, was how the Islamic State in West Africa, formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād and commonly known as Boko Haram until March 2015 (wikipedia), started in 1999 in most parts of the North-east of Nigeria and today, all mercenaries the FG had and is putting put in place to stem the orgies of destruction of property and lives by Boko Haram, have not given Nigerians hope that Boko Haram would end in the near future.
Wike expressed and showcased his flaw in governance when on Friday, January 5 2018; in lieu of accept the fact that the state he governs was insecure, he blamed those from the blues of planning to make the state ungovernable. Hooey!
Wike’s unedited calculation and what may be seen as a political language was brashly dished out when the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Rtd) paid him a courtesy call in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State seat of power.
Wike’s statement that the state was ever ready to co-work with the FG to engage in the security challenges in the state would make a hypothesis for researchers that Wike has indirectly told the residents that they should not look up to him for the security in Rivers State, but the FG.
He would say, “The security agencies have the profiles of all cult kingpins in different parts of the state and they know their locations, there is no wisdom in the politicization of security. Insecurity can affect anybody; you can never know the next victim of insecurity.
“In every system, the security agencies know the flashpoints, here we requested for the strengthening of security around these flashpoints, especially areas with high prevalence of cultists.
“I expect that security would be beefed up in these places; I ask this question, is there an orchestrated plan to tag Rivers State unsafe? Is the situation above the security agencies, despite the information we have made available to them?”
While Wike is trading blame of the insecurity in Rivers, he forgot that some two years ago, as governor-elect, he raised hope and assured investors in and out of the country that Rivers State would be save for investment beginning May 29 2015. This was even as he swaggered of boosting security in the state: A statement he was fund of, just for
the purpose of making the government he succeeded to be treated by critics as a beehive of insecurity.
Wike made this security-for-all declaration on a Wednesday of that year, while in a meeting with Ambassador John Groffen, the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria in Port Harcourt. Wike saw insecurity as alarming in the state before May 29 2015 and boasted, “We are committed to creating an enabling environment for foreign investors to invest in our state. We understand the importance of foreign direct investments in the creation of employment for our unemployed youths.
“We will improve on the security of lives and property across the state and ensure that kidnappings become a thing of the past in the state. This state which is key to Nigeria and the international community, will once again be a beehive of economic activities. We are committed to creating a new Rivers State, which all our people will be proud of.”
As they say, talk is cheap. Today, instead of own up that his government has failed the Rivers residents in providing adequate security in the state, Wike started making a career in blame game: Blaming the governor before him of the spate of insecurity in Rivers, just as the man from Daura and his failed cabinet would not stop to blame the government at the centre before them of their failure to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians in regard to their 2015 presidential campaign promises to the Nigerian masses.
When Wike saw that he had no way to escape his failed boast of providing security in the state, on Sunday, October 2, 2016, he blamed the government he succeeded of bequeathing his government with the insecurity in the state. Wike was no longer talking about providing a safe landing investment ground for investors in the state, but that
the killings and kidnappings in Rivers started during the government that he succeeded.
It was at the thanksgiving service at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church in Okrika to memorialize the rescue of Patience Tam-George, the octogenarian mother of the then Commissioner of Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, who was held hostage for six days by kidnappers, that Wike who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani made the statement.
Before spectators would pronounce Ibinabo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state dubbed as saying that the FG has been sabotaging Wike’s fight against insecurity in Rivers. It was the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Samuel Wanosike who made this blatant comment while chatting with newsmen in Port Harcourt, in September
In the words of Wanosike, “First of all, let me tell you that the Federal government is sabotaging the security in Rivers State. You all know that there is nothing our ggovernor has not done to improve the security of the state.” Did you hear that?
Perhaps, in order to churlish the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Army as a non grata, Wanosike said that Wike, upon funding the Police in Rivers State and Army to what he characterised by “their maximum capacity” with gadgets, gunboats for the Navy , equipment and logistics support to the police, which he said that even the IG could testify to, insecurity still persists.
In October 2017, Wike while speaking during the National Security Summit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, replayed what was of the Rivers in PDP against the security agents in Rivers State. Hear Wike, “If we don’t work together, how do we fight crime? I have told everybody who cares we are all politicians. Join me to fight crime in
my state. When the time for politics comes, don’t worry, I know how to do it, but for now fight crime for me…
“I came here to support the IG and I want to say nobody has any personal thing against you. I want to assure you that if you send your boys to the streets to fight crime, I will continue to give them my support.”
But why does Wike think the FG is sabotaging security in the state? He would accuse SARS of kidnapping, accuse APC of the insecurity in the state and so on. Yet, we have an article with the title, “How Wike Solved Rivers Insecurity Challenge” published on October 2, 2017, in one of the national papers. However, governance is like a romantic
relationship and must be guided with all manner of truth than lies and boastfulness.
A Mark Tyrrell, a relationship expert in “Overcoming Insecurity in Relationships” intemised points that must be put in place to secure a relationship. As if talking to Wike, Tyrrell says: Stop confusing imagination with reality, avoid the Certainty Trap, give the relationship room to breathe, stop ‘mind reading’, stop comparing current relationships to past ones, for security: Seek self-assurance, focus on the good.
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: email@example.com