One of the main reasons why the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was so intense was because of the robustness of All Progressive Congress’s (APC) performance as an opposition party. The party opposition machinery was so well oiled, that it dominated the media narrative going into the election and successfully demonized President Goodluck Jonathan in the eyes of most Nigeria and painted Buhari as the messiah.
Even though a lot of the things that APC said about Jonathan and his administration were unproven and sometimes reprehensibly incorrect, the public believed them and this fueled their irritation and abhorrence for his administration. The man who was charged with leading the opposition media onslaught against GEJ is the current Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammadu. Perhaps it is fair to say that his present job in the Buhari government is a reward for a job well done.
But since 2015 when the PDP switched places with APC following its defeat in the election, the former ruling party has failed to live up to the high standard set by APC and Lai Mohammed. They have not even come close. This vacuum has become an embarrassment to the PDP as many Nigerians do not see them as a viable replacement for the APC despite the failures of the ruling party.
So, in the absence of a formidable and well-coordinated opposition from the PDP party structure, some of the PDP Governors have at different times taken up the challenge. First it was former Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose, who was a torn in the flesh Buhari’s during his first term in office. And now that Fayose is no longer Governor, Barrister Nyesome Wike is now playing that role.
The River State Governor has in the last couple of years been the most vocal opposition to Buhari from the PDP.
At every opportunity he fearless attacks the President and accuses him of every sin under the sun. There is no name that Wike has not called the President- incompetent, weak just name them. And just recent he accused the president of shifting responsibility, just because President Buhari challenged the Governor to do more in terms of securing their states.
The President made the comment during the recent arise Tv interview, where he called on the state Governor to get more involved in the task of protecting their states against criminals and bandits.
According to a report in Punch, Wike didn’t take kindly to the President remarks. According to him, since President Buhari is the commander-in-Chief, and he is responsible for appointing the service chiefs, he has the exclusive responsibility for securing the nation.
But Wike may be right to a degree. The constitutions put the job of national security on the desk of Mr. president. But the same constitution did not completely absorb the state governors of the responsibility of securing their states against criminals.
Now, the question is if the President has the sole duty of providing security for the country, why then are the state Governors referred to as the chief security officers of their state. Secondly, why do the Governors receive humongous monthly security votes, which they do not even account for?
To my mind, I believe Governor Wike knows this truth, but being an opposition politicians he has chosen to play politics with it. This is sad because it is a matter that affects the lives of ordinary Nigerians. Thousands are already dead and thousands could die if our politicians do not shun politics and joins hands together with the president to fight insecurity. I am also concern that his position on serious national security issues could undermine his political future post-2023 when his tenure as Governor of River State would have ended.
More so if APC manages to hold on to power in 2023, which is highly likely, whoever emergences as President on the platform of APC- if such a person was handpicked by the President to succeed him- could mark Wike out as an enemy and probably move against him using state structures.
This is not an endorsement of politics of victimization. But that is the way things are in Nigeria. The ideology of no victor not vanquish does not have a place in Nigerian politics. At least not for now.
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God Bless us and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.