Wike: Promising Rest Despite the Storms Associated With the COVID-19 Pandemic

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By Abolade Adewale

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It has become so visible that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has many forces to combat in as he wages war against the ravaging pandemic; unscrupulous political elements that are jostling for positions in 2023 amongst other misinterpretations from his proactive way of governing the state.

His Excellency, who has been misjudged based on his actions in combating the pandemic has also shown the world that he is doing what is right and lawfully expected of him to safeguard the lives of the residents of Rivers State and ensure their wellbeing during this trying times. Different ideologies have been postulated to malign the good intentions of the State Governor.

A Governor who cannot perform to the take responsibility attached to his office will definitely attract lawlessness to the state. We all agree that it is expected of any Governor to secure peple and property. It is important to place on record that after Wike took drastic steps in monitoring compliance that was when residents of Rivers State adhered strictly to the lockdown that he pronounced in the state. It is quite unfortunate that these same set of well-travelled Nigerians resident in Rivers State would not have tried to flout such orders if they were in other parts of the world.

There is a need for us to be sincere about the transition of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the Federal Government decided to lock the land, sea and air borders to defence the nation from the being infested by those entering into the country. This was the same principle that was put in place by Governor Wike. We know that this led to a hot debate between him and the Minister of Aviation, Sen Haji Serika but after series of consultations, it was resolved.

Akin to this, Mr. Charles Isichie who wrote to commend the Governor on the plight of workers within the Maritime sector who are essential workers during the lockdown. It is a known fact that ships and other vessels are manned by people of various nationalities. Why should we leave the entry of vessels and maritime workers out of those to be protected by the lockdown in the state? The Governor eventually allowed maritime workers to do this daily job and at the same time, he agreed to their role in the country at large.

Despite the rant across various spheres, Governor Wike was still praised by the Management Team of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited led by the Executive Director, Mr Udobong Ntia, lauded the efforts of the Governor when they paid him a courtesy visit at Government House. The Governor made it known that sixty per cent of the coronavirus cases recorded in the state are from oil workers returning from the rig. This made the state insist that oil workers must be tested to confirm their status. The Governor added that, “oil remains the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria and without it, it will be difficult for people of the South-South to function”. His request from the companies is that the government should be notified of the workers coming into the state and the health personnel can monitor them.

Similarly, The Peace Corps of Nigeria has also commended the Governor for his doggedness and proactive measures in fighting the spread of the dread coronavirus pandemic. We all know that the party of His Excellency, Governor Wike, is the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and we have noted the utmost struggle for political power since 2015. With all sense of humility, his daring achievements in the last five years have led to envy in the political space in the country.

As said by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, “these people have been working towards the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers State.” While, this cannot be wished away, we believe it is a challenge for the Governor to continue to impress quality leadership on the people of the state towards 2023.

“These people have decided to create unnecessary tension as if indigenes of Ahoada, Eleme and Port Harcourt are fighting with Northerners not to carry out their legitimate businesses. Since the outbreak of the Pandemic, various states across the country have been intercepting trucks carrying human beings alongside food items. Instead of supporting the strides being done under the leadership of Governor Wike, these Abuja politicians are busy looking for a state of emergency,” the Commissioner said.

When all means of negatively tagging Governor Wike were exhausted, a faceless group, Centre for Public Trust, said the Governor is ignoring his Deputy, Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry-Banigo. The statement signed by Sotonye George wondered why he was sidelining his Deputy who is an experienced medical doctor and public health professional. They went further to say that an impeachment process is in the offing in the State House of Assembly. Thankfully, the allegation has been debunked from the office of the Deputy Governor. Dr Harry-Banigo noted that she has enjoyed cordial relationship with the governor from 2015 till date.

It is obvious that COVID-19 has come to test the popularity of His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike but he remains unruffled in the provision of quality leadership to the people of Rivers State. The pandemic will soon give way for him to continue to deliver quality projects to the delight of the indigenes and residents of Rivers State. History will be fair to the Governor for standing out as a leader during this trying season.

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