We, members of Arewa Political Advocates read with amusement a write up titled: A TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE CONVENED BY NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOR NATIONAL COHESION, ON THE INFLAMMATORY REMARKS OF GOVERNOR NYESOM WIKE OF RIVERS STATE.
We have noted and appraised the contents of this Press Conference carefully and in the interest of the peace, cohesion and harmonious coexistence which has existed and continues to exist between us and our brothers in the South-South, we wish to state as follows:
- We will willingly overlook the provocative innuendos, delivered recklessly by paid hackers and rabble rousers, who are only interested in the pittance they get from those who do not mean well for our country.
- We recognized the fact that what is playing out between Governor Wike and his Edo state counterpart, provoked of course by the Deputy Governor, in his own disrespectful, unguarded, combative and confrontational comments, is purely a political matter by politicians, which will eventually be settled with their usual political solutions.
- But we are very much disturbed by the involvement of meddlesome Interlopers and anti-progressive groups, comprised mostly of faceless individuals, who actually cry more than the bereaved and have no stake whatsoever, except for their nuisance value and proclivity to offer themselves as agents of destabilization, destruction and disunity in Nigeria.
- These fractious, willful and intractable groups have nothing to lose, from the consequences of their unguarded, infantile and myopic utterances, except the perverse joy they derive from celebrating the whatever negative gains accruing from their contractual intrusion at the expense of the rest of unsuspecting, innocent Nigerians.
- Having put this in perspective, it becomes imperative at this juncture, to refer to the very auspicious quote by the erudite, utilitarian philosopher, John Stuart Mills . The complete quote, delivered at an inaugural address at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, on February 1st, 1867,goes like this:
“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”
- It is against this backdrop therefore, that we must define and locate the fearless, bold, determined, courageous, consistent and admirable public advocacy of Governor Nyesom Wike, which has without any doubts whatsoever, transformed him into a champion of the Nigerian masses, a voice for the long suffering common man and a true leader of the ordinary citizens of this country, who continue to suffer under very suffocating and unbearable situation, which are getting worse with each passing day.
- In this day and age, when political leadership demands more than opportunistic service to the people, Governor Nyesom Wike, unlike majority of his colleagues, has stood out like a proud, towering collosus, who will not be cowed as he speaks truth to power and calls out those who must be called out, whether in his own Constituency, political party or the nation at large.
- It is rather unfortunate that so many people are only encountering the dynamic Nyesom Wike only now that he is Governor, as those of us who know him before now will confirm that he has also been firm, bold, fearless, determined, courageous and prepared. That was how he defeated an incumbent Governor and rescued Rivers State from the clutches of those who wanted to set back the state.
- That was also how he got involved with Edo State to make peace amongst the contending parties, after much pleading by both the Governor, his deputy and the national working committee of the PDP, which eventually paved the way for Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy to emerge.
- He did not stop there but also took charge of the Edo state Guber campaign and remained on ground at the risk of his own personal safety and well being, even after the police had laid siege on his hotel for three days, to deliver and ensure victory for those who are now challenging the party that did so much for them.
11.Let it also be placed on record, for the education and information of the likes of the NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOR NATIONAL COHESION, that Governor Nyesom Wike has always enjoyed a warm, cordial and robust relationship with his brother Governors and has regularly consulted with them before going public with any issue of party or national concern. Otherwise, has the so called members of the Northern Alliance ever bothered to wonder why his colleagues have not challenged him once, but instead are joining him, especially in litigations, against breaches of the Constitution by the Federal Government?
- Has the so called Northern Alliance even realized that almost all his brother Governors in the PDP and indeed top political figures and statesmen across party divides, have actually come to Rivers State to commission several of the massive, legacy projects which Governor Wike is delivering in Rivers State and to Rivers people, in fulfilment of his primary responsibility to bring good governance and the dividends of democracy to his people?
- Let us state categorically here that the Northern Alliance or whichever amorphous group has been contracted by dubious pay masters, is not and can never be in any position and has no right, privilege or authority whatsoever, to issue any directive or threat to anybody or even cast aspersions on any Governor on behalf of the North.
- We urge Governor Wike not to make any group with questionable intentions and dubious motives relevant and popular, by engaging them in issues that do not have the national interest as it’s objective. He is a leader we admire because of his guiding principles of sincerity, honesty and team work.
- Let us equally state without equivocation that we are not aware of any fora, occasion, public event, Television, Radio, Newspaper or even Online interview or address, where Governor Nyesom Wike has declared openly that he is contesting for the Presidency of the country. We already know those who have declared and Governor Wike is not amongst them.
- Infact Governor Wike has made his position on contesting for the Presidency very clear and consistent on National Television and elsewhere, which is that, while he has every constitutional right to contest for the position of Presidency if he so desires, he is however busy with delivering good governance and the dividends of democracy to his people of Rivers State as he winds down to the completion of his mandatory two terms as Governor of Rivers State.
- We also want to use this medium to caution politicians, especially those in the PDP, who have now become rumour mongers, that the PDP has not made any pronouncement about the presidency yet and it is unfortunate and tragic for our political experience for a Governor to take out a full page Press Release, published in National Newspapers to accuse and allege that another Governor has presidential ambition. This is how low some of our leaders and politicians have fallen and it is very sad indeed.
- Finally, we want to caution politicians on the type and manner of groups and individuals they engage and procure to ventilate their public advocacy.
18.Some of these so called groups may actually be made up of terrorists, militants and other nefarious and unscrupulous entities masquerading as social crusaders, but waiting in the wings with malevolent intentions, to unleash mayhem, unrest and conflict upon and within the polity.
- We must all be careful in this political season and put the interest of Nigeria first, even when we have personal and political issues to settle. A word they say, is enough for the wise.
Coordinator, Arewa Political Advocates