Wike: When A Boozing Bozo Becomes A Bare Bully

Wike: When A Boozing Bozo Becomes A Bare Bully

By DR. SKC Ogbonnia

Enough of Ezenwo Nyesom Wike!  Only in Nigeria could such a character continue to occupy the media space!!

Before Bola Tinubu rewarded him as the Minister Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Wike was basically a bozo throughout his tenure as the governor of Rivers State. By the way, a bozo in a catholic sense is more or less a wazzock — someone who exhibits the typical behaviors of a buffoon, damfool, a moron, a goon, a sociopath, a callous nuisance, a pathological liar; a barbaric inebriate or a habitual drunkard—in a simple term.

In short, future historians will remain wonderstruck on how this nothingburger found himself as a state governor, let alone his current position as a minister of the nation’s capital. Yet, the current cream of the Nigerian media has continued to cuddle Mr. Wike with white handkerchief understandably for the entertainment value.

Lest we forget, Wike’s dopey politics began to creep into the national scene when he was brandishing his Igbo roots and threatening to lead the South-South and South-East zones to secede from Nigeria. Yes! That was during his gubernatorial election in 2015. Hear the man then—in his own words:

“I will lead a war against them (Nigeria) like Ojukwu. Am not joking, I know am on air, and I am warning them now. Any attempt to rob us the way they rob our brother (GEJ), the battle will start from Rivers State. We will remain opposition state like Lagos. In fact, we from the South-South and South-East will remain in PDP. We leave the South-West and North to run APC. That is how they tactically shared the country. And we will not allow them use our resources to develop their States…I want all South-South and South-East to remember this, that we’ve two Judas.”

Let me beg your indulgence here. Please read the above quotation one more time!

The fact of the matter is that Ezenwo Nyesom Wike was that hidden money bag who not only spoke the current Biafran crisis into existence but also nurtured its undertow. However, once he became the governor of Rivers State in 2015, Wike was deceived to believe that the presidency was within his reach–if only he could act as a nationalist. He embraced the idea and quickly became a whited sepulcher. He would hobnob with the Biafran vision in the dark, only to present a holier-than-thou image of one Nigeria in the open. Keenly aware that the Nigerian people are gullible, he orchestrated series of gestures to assuage Northern Nigeria, while at the same time distancing himself from the South-East and any Igbo heritage. 

His first audition towards the nationalistic image was to evoke the emotions of the Biafran war by using his power as governor to rename the Liberation Stadium, Port-Harcourt in honor of Yakubu Gowon. According to Wike, the gesture was for Gowon’s role in the creation of Rivers State over half a century ago, a war time scheme then designed to decimate Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the very man Wike swore to emulate in his “war against them (Nigeria).” 

His next ploy was the deployment of a pipeline of appeasement from Port Harcourt to Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, chanting “one Nigeria”, with oil largesse to boot. This is how Wike became the turbo engine of the 2019 presidential ambition of the then Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

To deepen the makeover, he visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III in 2017: Hear him (Mr. Wike) at the Sultan’s palace: “We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable…I am from the Niger Delta, Rivers State to be specific, so I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country.”

Unfortunately, the North bought the bunkum from the boozing bozo.

What followed was a string of visits by the Sultan to Rivers State, with commissioning of state projects as a decoy. Worried that the chicanery was becoming so obvious, and to equally pacify the Yoruba people that he had roundly castigated in 2015, Wike saw a moderating pawn in the influential Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. A perfect camouflage was the hasty hosting of the General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria by Wike at Port-Harcourt in January 2018. This was the occasion where the then governor declared that “The Sultan and Ooni are my fathers”, ostensibly to curry favour from the North and the West, as the kings from his native East moped and gaped in utter amazement.

But the apple, they say, does not fall far from its tree. It did not take long before Wike relapsed. He once again began to spew all manners of separatist innuendoes. At one point the bozo declared other religions, besides Christianity, as non grata in his state. He would go on to demolish a mosque in August 2019, which eventually fetched him a resounding rebuke from the Sultan.  

Though Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is a bozo, quite alright, but the man was still able to count 1, 2, 3…He recognized that his overbearing transgressions, most of which were targeted at Northern Nigeria at the time, including the demolition of the mosque, might have dug him in. The then governor needed an escape route. 

Mr. Wike believed, and understandably so, that that any nuanced opposition to Biafran activism or even mere anti-Igbo antics would earn instant forgiveness from the North. There and then Wike mounted a montage of propaganda, further peeling himself from his Igbo roots of the “South-East” that he had employed to not only threaten secession but also to win elections in Rivers State.

Enter the #EndSARS protest of 2020, a nationwide outcry against police brutality in Nigeria. Wike quickly exploited the protest and started peddling the #EndSARS in Rivers State as a potential beginning of another round of Biafran war. The result was a chilling campaign of extrajudicial killings in Obigbo, a small native Igbo settlement in River State, with the governor claiming to be rooting out the IPOB, the very group the bozo helped to nurture.

With his nationalistic image seemingly restored, Wike wasted no time in hauling the overflowing resources of Rivers State to restructure the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). His sole purpose was to grab the party’s 2023 presidential ticket. 

I must not bore readers by repeating how Wike’s presidential ambition crashed. Ditto to his shameless lies, including how a Southern man (himself) who vigorously sought and failed to secure the vice-presidential ticket of his party was suddenly claiming to be fighting for a Southern presidency. 

The truth is that Wike thought about life after his tenure as governor when his immunity would have expired. He thought about the eight years of an open-ended looting of Rivers State treasury. It was a no brainer that he could only support any presidential candidate that would best guarantee him blanket cover upon victory at the polls. This is where Wike’s choice of Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) mattered most. The then governor did his own bidding by masterminding the most blatant election rigging in his home state during the 2023 fraudulent presidential election in favor of Tinubu. 

Alhaji Tinubu did not disappoint. Once the president, he wasted no time to reward Wike by appointing him as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory. But such corrupt requital is typical in the Tinubu modus vivendi.  

As a governor, Wike was the type of a village clown that is prone to annoy but hardly taken seriously to warrant an early morning gong. Unfortunately, despite his elevation to the federal level, common sense dictates that the boozing bozo remains on something else—something definitively more dangerous than his self-confessed aged whiskeys. More appalling, he makes no attempt to shade the fact that he is truly on something else. Just look at that man and, of course, how he is getting very thin, feeble, and more unstable!

The apparent problem here is that the boozing bozo has become a bare bully.

Today, as a minister, he assumes a license to target political opponents by demolishing their properties in the Federal Capital, just as he continues to engage in binge drinking in a fruitless effort to shade the shame. Troubled that his behaviour is beginning to wear thin, and aware that Nigerians are gullible, he is once again attempting to seek support from the usual quarters by heightening his anti-Igbo antics. Even worse, he has set Rivers State on fire by attempting to control the state by proxy. He claims he wants to control the political structure of Rivers the way Tinubu used to claim control of Lagos. But his case is a Tinubu without the brain and without a base…

DR. SKC Ogbonnia, a former APC Presidential Aspirant, writes from Houston, Texas.

April 8, 2024

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