WIKE’S DEVELOPMENT-CENTRED POLITICS – By Simeon Nwakaudu

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In today’s Nigeria, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is known to be the pillar of the opposition. The platform on which the revival of Nigeria rests.

Therefore, all his actions are monitored closely by the opposition and key figures in the ruling party. His steps are significant as they determine the direction of the opposition.

When live pictures began to emerge from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Saturday, 19th August, 2017, millions of Nigerians were pleasantly surprised to see that Governor Wike was amongst the dignitaries on hand to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari.

Governor Wike’s presence at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and later at the Presidential Villa sent a clear message to the political class.

Though we may belong to different political parties and persuasions, we share a common nationality, we share a common humanity. What affects one person, affects the other.

Our differences, the governor’s presence dictated, should not stop us from seeking national development, strengthening inter-governmental ties and making government relevant to the governed.

Wike’s politics is totally focused on development and the welfare of the people. This political principle has guided his political actions over the years.

As a master strategist, he takes deliberate steps that strengthen the ties of friendship and unity to the benefit of the good people of Rivers State.

On his presence to receive President Buhari, Governor Wike said, “We are happy, that he is alive and that is why l am here today to rejoice with the family. We should not play politics with everything. We are here talking about health and irrespective of the party l belong to, you can see that l am here today to rejoice with the family. That is what it is supposed to be. Don’t play politics with health issues, don’t do that. So, irrespective of what is going on out there, one is happy to be here.”

Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Mr Kenneth Kobani explained it thus: ”

I am a very happy Nigerian today. The return of Mr President is indeed a thing of joy.Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations have every right to rejoice that he is back and looks hale and hearty. Our celebrations must also reflect our unity and diversity as a nation. He is our President. Thank you Governor Wike for being present at the airport to receive our President and father of the nation, alongside the Acting President and some of your brother Governors. This is how it should be.”

By his presence at the airport ceremony marking the return of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Wike advised the leadership of the APC that beyond politics is the need to preserve Nigeria and always show respect for constituted authority.

The governor by his presence at the airport ceremony indicated that the bonds of friendship , love and the pan-Nigerian spirit must be consolidated for the good of the country.

As a leading opposition governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has always shown maximum respect for the Presidency. He has friends in the APC, working for the overall development of Nigeria. This has not stopped him from holding his political views in defence of Rivers State.

Even when he disagrees with the Federal establishment of the country, it is usually on the basis of principles. The governor has never taken the Presidency to the cleaners as was the practice by key APC chieftains during the previous era.

Rivers State has suffered the most in the hands of the APC and their destructive propaganda machine. Officials of the APC Federal Government sponsor negative media campaign against the state with the aim of de-marketing it. They incite violence and propaganda to undermine Rivers State and her people.

Only recently, the Rivers APC worked negatively to truncate the commissioning of projects by the Vice President.

The APC should learn to de-emphasise selfish politics, which relegates development and enthrones political advantage. It is true that they gained political victory in 2015 through mischievous and venomous propaganda, but the reality today is different. They should face governance and start developing a Pan-Nigerian platform.

This is the time to heal a divided nation. This is a time to stop the lies and propaganda. This is a time to cultivate friendship across party lines, while still maintaining the distinct features of individual political families. This is the time to put Nigeria first and work for the people.

APC are on their back foot today because they think that governance is simply acquisition of media mileage. They have learnt through the hard way that performance remains the key factor to the growth of any nation.

In summary, APC should learn from Governor Wike. Governor Wike elevates the people more than any other consideration. He respects our shared humanity , more than media mileage. Now is the time for APC to face reality and start working. Enough of lies and negative propaganda.

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