by Stanley Azuakola
The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, is no diplomat. So it was fitting perhaps that even though the occassion was the swearing-in of committee members instituted by the Rivers PDP exco, one of which was to pursue reconciliation, Wike used the event to take shots at the Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Responding to a statement made by the governor that he was going to expose those fighting him, Wike said: “I hear they say they will expose those who are fighting them. It is too late. You have power to have exposed anybody, yet you did not expose. Since you did not expose, there is nothing that you will do now that will make meaning to anybody.
“The reason you want to expose now is because people have stood up to challenge the wrong things you are doing.
“As for me, you do not need to go anywhere. I worked there as Chief of Staff; the documents are there. The files are there; carry them and do whatever you want to do. You do not need to go and ask from anybody.
“It is not just only one man or people that will want to speak; when you finish speaking, other people will speak.
“One thing I will advise the chairman of the party, please in the name of God, do not go to church and sing praises of God and you leave the church and begin to do something God does not like. If you know you will do bad things, do not go to church and call the name of God in vain,” he said.
Amaechi’s threat to expose his traducers was made while playing host to the Bishop of the Niger Delta (Anglican Communion), Ignatius Kattey, so it’s possible that Wike’s statement was an allusion to that fact.
“Let me say clearly that despite all these things, people are saying I led the court victory that has brought about the change. It was not just me, but all of us that led the victory. This is because without your support, the chairman would have succumbed, when his house was acquired forcefully, because he wanted his mandate.
“If not for your moral support, I would not have had the courage to continue. We would have abandoned the case and the victory would not have come.
“When people talk about injustice, autocracy and dictatorship, now that somebody cannot say what he wants to do. If you say it, the next thing they will do is to acquire your house forcefully. That period of intimidation in the state is over.
“There is no position that is permanent in life. Every position is tenured. I always tell people, you do not need to bother, I’m happy, people can today be empowered. If they buy car for you, if they give you anything, it is your entitlement. It is not any favour. It is the resources of the state. It is our commonwealth, the resources of our fatherland.
Wike told Obuah: “Now you have inaugurated the committees, allow them to do their work with their minds. Then you look at what they have done; even if what they do is not what you want, but because you have given them that responsibility, please allow them to do it. Do not interfere with their jobs.
“Let them go and fish out every one that is aggrieved, those who were the founding fathers of this party, who we can no longer see today, but as long as they are still alive, go and bring everybody back on track. The more, the merrier. PDP is a big umbrella that can accommodate everybody.
“You (chairman) cannot run the party alone. Always consult the elders and members. No one man can run a party. By the constitution of the PDP, the governor of the state is the leader of this party, I must tell you that.
“Whatever you are doing, you must consult the governor, because he is the leader of the party. If you do not, then you are not being fair and not following the constitution of the party. As you are consulting the governor, consult other members of the party, the elders and leaders at different levels.
“The constitution says the governor of a state is the leader of the party. So, I am not the leader of this party, as far as the state is concerned. I am just a minister. The constitution does not allow me to be the leader of the party, but the governor.
“You know that the governor ought to be here, but because of his tight schedule, he is not here; but he rest assured that as I leave here, I will communicate to him what you have said.
“When you are in a position and suddenly power changes, it does not affect people at the same time to fall along. The reality is that you do not expect people to be immediately happy with the present situation. There is time for the father to pamper the angry children, feed them well and make them to be loyal to the father.
“Note that there are no two PDP, as far as Rivers State is concerned. There is only one PDP and for the secretariat, there is only one party secretariat, as far as I am concerned. Let me tell you, for those who are dreaming, that another person will come and take over from Go Round (PDP chairman), power has changed hand and no man can change it, as far as God is involved.”