The 16th Century English Playwright, William Shakespeare, in his Book; Julius Caesar, aptly described Senator Lee Maeba’s Perfidious act against Rivers interest, championed by Governor Nyesom Wike, as ‘Ingratitude, More Strong Than Traitors Arms.’
Indeed, the allegations of Senator Lee Maeba against Governor Wike, in his recent interview is very baseless, watery, uncharitable and a gimmick to play himself into relevance in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s camp.
It is regrettable that Senator Lee Maeba would describe Governor Nyesom Wike, his benefactor as ‘Idi Amin’ for standing tall to defend the collective interest of Rivers people, who have been consistently shortchanged for the office of the presidency of the country, through well-calculated political maneuvering, despite Rivers State’s humongous contributions to the economic sustenance of Nigeria.
What was wrong in Governor Wike’s insistence that Rivers State should not be treated like a second fiddle in the affairs of the country?
Governor Wike had said; “If you say Rivers State does not matter, Rivers State will tell you that you don’t also matter at the appropriate time.
“If you don’t like us, we will not like you. If you like us, we will like you.
“Nobody will use our votes for nothing. Our votes will matter and Rivers State must benefit from anybody that we are going to support.
“Politics now is no longer just voting for somebody; it is about what you will do for the people of Rivers State.”
What played out during and after the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) presidential primary election, was only a replay of the 2007 Presidential and Vice Presidential race, where the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan were chosen over Dr. Peter Odili, and not about Governor Wike.
Otherwise, how do you explain the Aminu Tambuwal’s factor, whom Governor Wike, in 2019, doggedly stood for, against the same Atiku Abubakar for the PDP’S Presidential ticket?
However, after the botched primary election, Governor Wike, as a committed party man, insisted that stakeholders must come together, to discuss the way forward, in the interest of the party.
It is not about whether or not he (Wike) was not chosen as a running mate to Atiku Abubakar, after fourteen out of seventeen committee’s members had recommended him (Wike) for the position. After all, he (Wike) never canvased to be vice president to Atiku or any other person.
This is even as many governors and other critical stakeholders of the party have expressed deep concerns over the recent happenings in the party, which if not urgently addressed, could affect its fortunes. Because it is not just about Wike, but about conscience, morality and posterity.
A man like Governor Wike can not be ignored or toyed with in the PDP, because but for his dogged efforts and other compatriots, PDP would have been history, after it lost the 2015 general elections, courtesy of internal sabotage.
Governor Wike spared no resource at his disposal, traversing the length and breadth of Nigeria, building confidence of party members and reconciling aggrieved ones, to achieve a united, focused and virile opposition party, strong enough to wrest power from the ruling party.
On the alleged boast of the control of Rivers State’s votes by Senator Maeba, Governor Wike has never boasted of controlling the votes of Rivers people. What is sacrosanct, even to the opposition parties, is that Rivers is a PDP State, and the reason is not farfetched; the PDP has performed creditably well and Rivers people are known to show gratitude for every good thing that you do for them.
It is not magic, but Governor Wike is indeed a strong man, because Rivers people are firmly behind him and will continue to trust and follow him in all his political decisions, because he has proven himself worthy.
There is absolutely nothing wrong for Governor Wike to have demanded for Rivers State to be given her due place in the scheme of things and no blackmail from anyone can deter him from doing that.
It is very laughable that Senator Maeba is only speaking up now, after he was relieved of his appointment as Chairman of the Governing Council of Rivers State Government-owned Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Port Harcourt, by Governor Wike, who appointed him since November 2015.
Senator Lee Maeba, who claims to know and have a relationship with Atiku Abubakar for several years, has been carried along by Governor Wike since the inception of his administration, without Atiku’s input.
What has been the contribution of Atiku Abubakar in the political life of Senator Lee Maeba that he was boasting about knowing him for over 20 years now?
Governor Wike’s only crime against Senator Lee Maeba, and the latter’s vituperation against Rivers State governor was simply due to his recent failure to emerge governorship candidate of the PDP in Rivers State, which was contested and won by a former Accountant-General of Rivers State, Amaopusenibo Siminialayi Joseph Fubara, who pulled 721 of the 898 Delegates’ votes, to emerge winner, as shown below;
Siminialayi Fubara –721
Isaac Kamalu –86
Dax George-Kelly –37
Tammy Danagogo –36
Morgan West –4
Briggs David –4
Felix Obuah –2
Lee Maeba – 0
Senator Maeba, who waited for Governor Wike’s anointing oil to emerge the governorship standard bearer of PDP in Rivers State, without reaching out to party’s members, is accusing Governor Wike of micromanaging the system to favour someone else. Would he have raised an eyebrow, if it favoured him instead?
Governor Wike in 2015 showed enough capacity to be governor, by neither waiting nor relying on anyone to anoint him, but rather built structures across Rivers State that defeated the then governing All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the then Governor of Rivers State, who later became Transportation Minister, but resigned to contest in his political party’s this year’s presidential primary election, and lost.
Do not forget that Amaechi, in 2013, collapsed the existing structure of the PDP into the APC, when he defected, leaving the party (PDP) in complete disarray. So, the task of rebuilding it was herculean, yet Governor Wike stepped in and performed wonders.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is politically miles ahead of Senator Lee Maeba and all his co-conspirators and he (Wike) is not one to be intimidated by the schemes of political jobbers.
Today, Governor Nyesom Wike is not just a household name in Rivers, he is also one of the most-influential politicians in Nigeria and thus, the bride and pride of all, across political divides.
But who is Senator Lee Ledogo Maeba?
A man, who can not measure up with the records of Governor Wike, by any standard.
What did Senator Lee Maeba attract to Rivers State and his Rivers-East Senatorial District in particular, as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for eight years, like Governor Wike did in four years, as the Minister of State for Education?
For the records, Governor Nyesom Wike has nothing personal against the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, but as the defender of Rivers people and their interests, he insists that whoever needs Rivers’ votes must come to the round table and discuss.
Rivers State, with the largest voting population in the South-South geo-political zone and fourth in Nigeria, surely can not be taken for granted.