The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike (CON), practically needs no introduction or exordium. In our political horizon which he has bestrode like a Colossus his high-spirited mien warrants none. This is evident through several and different strata of duty calls and topnotch responsibilities that have attended his will and command. And make no mistake about it he has obtusely and interestingly registered both daunting and resounding successes on each strata. In a political career that has spanned over two decades Barr. Wike has earned for himself many accolades praiseworthy sobriquets for works accomplished and services onerously delivered.
To some people, and when he started out as a local council chairman at Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, he was adjudged a human capacity builder, infrastructure expert and primary health delivery aficionado. To others, Wike was a Mr. Fix it. This was after he had gallantly fought and wrestled back former Gov. Amaechi’s mandate from Celestine Omehia and the PDP executives then. For that battle, Gov. Amaechi had tagged Wike a saviour. Yet, under Amaechi, as Chief of Staff and Campaign Director for his second term bid Nyesom Wike did a yeoman’s job of making sure Amaechi was returned for his second term tenure. Amaechi had remarked….’I could elect to worship Wike if it was possible’.
Continuing on his strings of successes, as Education Minister, the Portharcourt city man was the anchor man of President Goodluck’s very many education programs and projects all over the federation and amongst which was the Almajiri free education system and others in northern Nigeria.
However, Barr. Ezebunwo Wike (CON), took service delivery to a whole new height as a governor in Rivers State. For his very many projects in the State he got the elevated soubriquet of Mr. Project. This is consequent upon the fact that promising and delivering of projects then we’re for him starting and finishing a day in the evening which is natural. Each project he promised he finished in a record time. At the end and while earning the Mr. Project toga Port Harcourt was transformed, flyovers everywhere, urban renewal enhancement evidently showing and the ‘Garden City status was virtually restored.
For a man who literally walks from one daunting task to another, gliding from one intimidating responsibility to another one would definitely not be wrong to assert that in his sinews and tissues the will to serve DNA must be running deep. And for this his system regularly burns with the passion to serve. Not only to serve but to serve and make sure that such a service he is involved in is delivered well. Thus such a characteristic to a reasonable extent really comes handy in summing up and attesting to the nature and personality of the Wike phenomenon which a few love to criticize but to every good thinking man’s consternation.
Curiously though, there is a special touch to his forte of desiring to serve all the time. Wike is a man with an uncanny boldness, a will to prove his mettle at any time especially if it is a task breeding with scepticism, where everyone is in doubt.
Some close associates see him as that suave politician who brooks no opposition while others even in his party PDP conjure to appreciate his team player spirit. In the same vein, some critical analysts would stop at nothing to christen him as one who belongs to that rare class of Nigerian politicians, the very few who when assigned a task would rather die than not see it accomplished. That is vintage Wike. For that, an international organization for the international Center for Proficient is about to honour him with an award.
Nonetheless, to whichever school of thought one may belong, Nyesom Wike needs no logical scrutiny, no critical analysis, he is bare and simple. Through whatever lens or prism, you want to view him his numerous service deliveries running through his accumulated achievements would render such inconsequential and irrelevant.
While some of us could yet totter on trivial frivolities about the FCT Minister, one thing that ought to be constant in our minds should be his zeal and tenacity of purpose, added to this is the gusto that attends his implementation plans or strategy when there is a dire need to carry out a task.
In the book, ‘The Nature Of Man’, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali remarked that man is essentially of product of two component underlying parts. One he stated and called knowledge and, the other he called the will. In his elements, Nyesom Wike knows and feels his political surroundings profoundly. Despite his boisterous idiosyncrasies Wike is a great winner of souls. One who has a way with people and will stop at nothing to win them over. Man as we all know is an unpredictable entity, subject to change at any time. But Wike has that charismatic touch that binds a man to his will if he needs you. Therefore, nothing can be more knowledgeable and daunting than having to under study, know, understand and win over a human soul. Can we then not give it to him as being a knowledgeable homo sapiens?
But then, what will strictly inspire awe in anyone is his ability to put forth his assertions, courageously and boldly implement his desires and accomplish his will through his personal convictions. This is what truly makes Wike a man of audacious will. Hence, if one describes the ‘Port Harcourt City Man’ as a man of will it definitely tantamounts to stating the obvious. Who can therefore stop this City man when a service entrusted into his hands is to be rendered for the benefit of the masses?
At a point in time during his governorship tenure in Rivers State, a particular group rose to challenge him. Their grouse being that he had marshalled out a catalogue of unrealisable projects just to score cheap popularity. They remarked that he cannot carry out the projects successfully. Others sceptically queried that the timing was too short for him to finish such number of projects. Wike responded by saying and I quote…’ my projects will be completed; we are not playing to the gallery as some of you are thinking. However, he continued…’ if by any chance we do not finish all we have decided to deliver for the Rivers people, then enough grounds will be prepared for the incoming administration to complete them. There will be no talk of abandoned projects in my regime. That is a man who cannot be intimidated by challenges even though he understands human limitations. He knows that at times such unforseen upheavals could pose stumbling blocks thus he sincerely exhibited his regime’s preparedness to pave way for continuity. Nonetheless, up till today and since he left office the new governor from all indications had not had cause to complain.
In today’s politics in Nigeria, the masses need an achiever like Wike who, in him and by all standards exists no modicum of doubt about his sense of duty. Unarguably, and by any stretch of the matter Wike has commanded several strings of positive commendable feats as a career politician. Though his approach to issues at times may not conform to the dictates of general opinion and so may not appear as savvy and comprehensible but, he does get his messages across and by so doing gets things done.
I have seen and heard people cast aspersions at Wike due to his actions and pronouncements and I laugh and even ponder at their insensibility. By now, such people should reckon with the fact that Nyesom Wike is a rebel with a cause. Dig his roots you will find out why the Rumuepirikom political juggernaut does not retreat nor surrender. Investigate him even further you will be amazed for you will be confronted with his strength of will and robust personality. He is a man at ease with his convictions.
Today, the Nigerian dispensation as it were demands a man of Wike’ s standing. A man with the right kind of gumption to call a spade a spade. A man with the humble will to serve and deliver not minding whose ox is gored. Wike is a political servant masked in reckless zeal but not ready to pander to whims and caprices of anyone but only to the masses. Nigerians are essentially tired of those who sleep on duty. Wike’s nature is fundamentally at variance and abhors those with a penchant for lying to the masses.
Invariably, there will be no gainsaying that the city of Abuja needs Wike at this juncture. His track records put him up for the type of job required to be done in the Federal Capital Territory now. How he renewed Port Harcourt city to its former glory needs not be over emphasized. It in fact, remains a marvel to behold.
Therefore, for Abuja not to degenerate to the level of debris lying everywhere as it is now, a Nyesom Wike is obviously needed. For he will zealously rise to the occasion. Imagine that some areas in Wuse 2 reeking of horrible stench, both from gutters and from littered debris. In some areas the stench of urine will make you to puke. Do we talk of the number of manholes stripped bare and opened by the ubiquitous ‘babambola’ scavengers who cart away these covers and sell them as scrap metals? These manholes are littered everywhere and constituting serious hazardous traps for pedestrians. In their very many numbers these holes are not only embarrassing but are definitely unwarranted in the capital city of the most populous black nation in the world- Nigeria, the giant of Africa.
Then the most disturbing and unwholesomely disheartening and a pointer to the lawlessness that has permeated through our body is the number of structures erected outside the Abuja master plan. If one is not blessed with a Nyesom Wike type of courageous and daring bravado how can he cope with restoring Abuja to its original plan? President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would have no business thinkering along that line. For basic reasons, Barr. Wike (CON) deserves this post and position. The Abuja model city status which was of a special design and reserved at that with regular cleaning, periodic checks to maintain decency, orderliness, conformity with laid down urban protocols and principles is fast waning and seriously depreciating. Not a few urban dwellers are of the view that they are fast developing a morbid fear and frightening dread that sooner than later Abuja might turn into another slum of a city.
Thank God President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had the wisdom of the old by invoking the daunting boldness if a Nyesom Wike in not only service delivery but has the temerity and will to make sure Abuja is properly repositioned and brought back to its original master plan and the known dignified capital city of unity that it is.
Paschal Agbada, a Public Affairs Analyst writes in from Abuja.
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