If there is one aspect of Gov. Wike that political pundits across board have come to agree on, it is that of his political sagacity and prowess.
Governor Wike’s style of politics has earned him many political fortunes, some of which did not come without heavy contest and unique challenges, but amidst all the “Rofo-rofo”, he has always managed to swing the odds to his favour.
Beginning from how he became a 2-time Executive Council Chairman of Nigeria’s Biggest Local Government Area, Obio/Akpor Local Government in 1999, and went on to become the ALGON President, the body Association of Local Governments in Nigeria, to how he fought doggedly during the popular K-Leg saga of 2007 Rivers State Governorship Elections, that saw to the famous Supreme Court Judgement which ordered the swearing of Chibuike Amaechi as Governor, Governor Wike has always been on the frontline of political battles and more often than not, emerged victorious.
Also in 2011, Governor Wike, serving as the Campaign Director for the re-election of the then Governor Rotimi Amaechi, led the PDP to victory in the state.
From his seemingly impossible emergence as the Guber candidate for PDP in 2014, to his overwhelming victory in 2015, to the hard fought legal battle and eventual victory at the Supreme Court, to his successful resistance of the machinations of the federal might during the reruns in 2016 and re-election victory in 2019, amidst the ugly showdown of federal might by “unknown gun military men”, Governor Wike has kept a track record of political triumphs.
Beyond the fact that Governor Wike is a pragmatic strategist, one core value that has kept him tops in his political sojourn, is the ability to build “bridges” where need be.
Governor Wike is one politician that is always ready to rise above any sentiments to initiate some kind of alliance, as long as the political situation requires it.
While some Politicians will let pride or ego hold them back, Governor Wike is pragmatic enough to know that he needs someone and will show maturity enough to establish a working alliance.
During the commissioning of the Opobo/Nkoro Road last month, a former Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources as well as Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri, was invited by Governor Wike to do the honours in commissioning the road. While making his remarks, he told a story that highlights this very unique trait of Gov. Wike that I seek to portray in this piece.
Below are the words of Adamu Maina Waziri at the ancient Opobo Kingdom:
“Let me confess, a few of my friends here know that myself and Governor Wike, we are not the best of friends. In fact I tell him I don’t like him and he tells me he doesn’t like me.
I was to come with the BOT team to Rivers State about two and half weeks ago, but because of my soured relationship with Gov. Wike, I found a convenient excuse not to come.
“Two days ago I received a message that Governor Wike will like to speak to me on the telephone. I told them to tell him I will not speak to him. The man that was giving me the telephone refused to tell him that; he gave me the telephone.
“And I said ‘Who is it?’, he said; ‘Governor Wike’, and I said; ‘But I said I don’t want to talk to you – I don’t want to speak to you’. And he said: ‘Come’on… why?’
“We sorted that out and he said ‘I want you to come to Rivers State to commission a project’
“You can see how God does his things. 72 hours ago, nobody can tell me I will be worthy of being invited to come to Rivers State to commission a toilet. I will not believe it. But here I am, in Opobo town that I read it’s history in my secondary school.”
Though the above is just one story, but within it, you’d understand one of Governor Wike’s strategy for winning.
While others may gloat in their pride and malicious approach to politics, Governor Wike is always willing to make the necessary move required for victory.
And just like I posited in a post I made days ago, at the very least, political schemes and parleys should be about Winning and not to breed Malice. Malice is hardly a plot.
As a young politician, this is one trait i intend emulate. Given that politics is a game of numbers, it is better to make more friends than enemies in course of one’s sojourn.
Ugochukwu Tony Oputa
August 23, 2021