Wike: Bully Or Staunch Party Loyalist (Viewpoint)
Wike: Bully Or Staunch Party Loyalist (Viewpoint)

Wike: Bully Or Staunch Party Loyalist (Viewpoint)

On at about 22:52:23 PM, Wike: Bully Or Staunch Party Loyalist (Viewpoint) was updated.

Wike: Bully Or Staunch Party Loyalist (Viewpoint)

In Last Couple DAYS, Nigerians from all walks of life have watched in awe as two governors from the same political party but who do not appear to share the same political ideology engaged in a verbal brawl. We are not referring to Ondo State Governor Arakunri Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who referred to some of his colleagues as Yahoo Yahoo Governors for insisting on due process in the ouster of the All Progressives Congress, APC leadership. We're also not talking about Kaduna State Governor Nasir El- Rufai, who went on national television to celebrate a palace coup in their party only to find out the next day that the coup had failed.

We're talking about the verbal brawl between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike over the leadership fight in the Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Indeed, this was the episode that received the greatest attention on social media and in traditional media. Perhaps the one-page advertorial that Obaseki quickly had produced in defense of his deputy, Mr Philip Shuaibu, who had earlier aroused Wike's fury over the party problem in Edo State, was one of the factors that made the altercation the focus point of conversation for many political observers.

In that one-page advertisement, Obaseki purposefully decided to throw insults at Wike in order to denigrate and belittle him in the eyes of well-meaning Nigerians. Many Nigerians who read Obaseki's disparaging essay regarded it as an unnecessary but deliberate attack, considering the false tales that have surrounded Wike's personality and his responsibilities in the PDP over the years. The essay was undoubtedly in poor taste, as Obaseki threw caution to the wind in an attempt to outfit his colleague and benefactor in extremely black garments. Obaseki went so far as to label Wike as a bully in the main opposition party.

What exactly is a bully? A bully, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, is someone who harms or frightens someone else over time and typically pushes them to do something they do not want to do. Similarly, Merriam Webster describes a bully as a blustering, browbeating individual, especially one who is consistently rude, insulting, or threatening to those who are weaker, smaller, or vulnerable in some manner.

Do these definitions correspond to the roles Wike has played in the Peoples Democratic Party throughout the years? Most certainly not. You may criticize him of being a zealot for his party, but you can't accuse him of forcing people to do something they don't want to do. How could a politician of Obaseki's stature be so heartless in his use of language to degrade a colleague? It has the odor of a violation of trust. There is nothing more or less. "You came to beg a bully for you to receive the (PDP) ticket," Wike remarked in response to Obaseki. Your campaign DG was a bully, and you were bullied into Government House. What a pity! You returned with your wife to thank the bully for making it possible for you to be there after God."

The problem of this situation is that Obaseki has now revealed himself to be a chronic betrayer. He was most likely out on a naughty mission for some other people who were uneasy with Wike's unusual ardour for anything that may benefit the Peoples Democratic Party. For a long time, Wike has been an enigma, a rallying point and an arrowhead in the party, much to the chagrin of some of his contemporaries. Those who are not as devoted to the cause of the party as he is would naturally take offense when he insists on not allowing anyone to interfere with the PDP. They hoped they could be as strong and popular as Wike, but they forget that certain individuals are inherently suited to specific jobs.

In that inflammatory essay, Obaseki sought to incite resentment by pulling former PDP National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus into the debate and accused Wike of bullying him out of office. But he ignored the chain of events that led to the resignation of Secondus, a close associate of Wike suspected of turning himself into a mole for the APC. Obaseki also brought in Chief Raymond Dokpesi, but forgot to mention that the media mogul arbitrarily allocated the PDP presidential ticket to the North and handed it over to former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who regards the ticket as a birthright.

When such anomalies occur, someone must speak up without fear or favor, and Wike has the innate courage to call a spade a spade and damn the consequences. But when he spoke out against these changes, he did so to keep the PDP on track. Is that considered a crime? In his terrible assault on Wike, Obaseki also sought to blame him for the defections of Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi and Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade. In his opinion, these two men were victims of Wike's intimidation, although this is far from the case. These two men have personal motivations for joining the APC, which may or may not be related to their records in government and their fear of being pursued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC.

Wike is not a bully, as his critics and opponents would have Nigerians think. He's a diehard party loyalist, and an uncompromising one at that. His sole offense is his devotion to his party and his unwavering commitment to keep it safe from disloyal members. Even those who criticize Wike of arrogance and a bullish attitude cannot disagree that he has gone above and beyond most of his predecessors in terms of dedicating energy, time, and resources to rebuild the main opposition party. However, it is clear that those who do not wish the PDP well will paint Wike as a bully if addressed. Similarly, individuals who don't mind if the PDP disintegrates and ceases to exist as a party might turn around and label anyone who questions them as a bully.

•From Port Harcourt, Rivers State, political analyst Ekalugbu wrote.

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