Careless words have become the politics of Rivers State, especially since Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of the state and Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike who is the supervising minister of education started their politics of “If you talk, I will talk” in the media.
Wike would tell Amaechi that if Amaechi talks, he would talk, vis-à-vis. Yet, they have not told us what they want to ‘talk’ about, but are always chasing shadow in the media to the chagrin of many. They are using words to make people to like them, love the other or hate. These dudes now live and breathe vicious words against each other, which do not make good for people in that social class.
With their political tussling, Amaechi and Wike are showing us that they are merchants of words and could weave words into any shape they like or that would be befitting to their unsuspecting or suspecting followership. What they forgot or perhaps knew but are not ready to checkmate theirselves with it is that their words are disfiguring the souls of those who once reposed their trusts on them or that took them as role models. How wise are they? We were told that “The wisest man is the silent one.”
While Wike had asked Amaechi to face what he saw as the infrastructural decay in the state, Amaechi has not stopped at telling Wike to stop campaigning for his personal ambition in 2015 but face the much dragged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strikes, which have kept Nigerian students at the tertiary level at home for close to six months.
Amaechi and Wike are trading words and showing power of the titans whereas the state and the country are suffering their undefined war of aggression. Upon the call by the state government to redeploy the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu who has not supported Amaechi security-wise and the call by Nigerians to end ASUU and ASUP strikes, Wike who is also the founder and principal of a political group known as and called Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), is busy traversing round the state’s 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs), swearing-in his GDI.
From the way Wike is going with his GDI in the 23 LGAs, one can easily say that he is nonchalant about the plight of the country’s education as the supervising minister of the ministry. He has told us a fortnight that Amaechi’s power has been reduced, and Amaechi has told us that Wike is acting as if he was above the law. These were coming because of the perceived friendly relationship that Wike has come to enjoy with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The irony is that Wike is making us to see that his actions were delightful, without allowing us to say that they were delightful ourselves, as we are monitoring and observing the shameful political activities in the state, the same thing goes with Amaechi. Although, Amaechi was expected to wield a lot of power in the state as governor, but Wike who now gives us the impression that he is untouchable, wants us to mistake him as the governor of Rivers State.
How come that democracy has turned out to become a horrifying and hideous experience in the country’s transition at all levels of government! Although, it does not surprise most of us following a comment that was credited to Idi Amin: “I give you the freedom of speech, but I do not guaranty your freedom after the speech.” This is just the irony of democracy.
It is the duty of a minister to mind his or her portfolio, likewise a governor. But in Rivers State, there are person(s) who said that we will no longer sleep with our two eyes closed, simple because of their egocentric gestures. Hence, they are bent on going about causing troubles. They are ready to shatter mayhem since they believe that they have the support of the power at the top.
The unfortunate thing is that Amaechi and Wike do not most times know when to apply their words. An example is the one from Wike that Amaechi and his cohorts are behind ASUU and ASUP strikes. And if this is true, why then did Wike open his mouth and say that Amaechi’s power has been weakened, since Amaechi can purportedly be behind the ASUU and ASUP strikes? It shows that Amaechi still has power which has even weakened Wike’s power and he does not know how to resolve the ASUU and ASUP strikes.
But whether Wike’s GDI is a civil organisation or political, one expects that his campaign is supposed to be how to make his ministry resolve the issue of the awaiting strikes and, not to be moving about Rivers State 23 LGAs installing GDI, when there are crises rocking his ministry. Is anybody thinking here? Let us not say that with this kind of mentality, some persons are obvious the perceived numerous governmental problems that are with President Jonathan.
Let these embarrassments be saved us in our Rivers State. It is crystal clear that Amaechi and Wike fight means more than what is set down in media. They should in earnest stop this constant overestimating and underestimating of each other which to a great extent are demeaning the standing of our Rivers State.
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.