By Simeon Nwokaudu
Once again, we have been blessed by the Almighty God to witness the birthday of the defender of Nigeria's Democracy. Over the last four years, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has played a fundamental role in the defence of the nation's democracy.
When others kept quiet, Governor Wike stood with the people. He has always defended their right to good governance and their right to all the freedoms guaranteed by the nation's constitution.
Governor Wike's commitment to Rivers people and the entire country, in most cases has denied him personal comfort. The powers that be struggle day and night to undo him. But at every turn, Governor Wike emerges victorious because God and Rivers people are always with him.
Promotion of the Rule of Law
Since assuming office as the Rivers State Governor, he has worked diligently to promote the rule of law. He has campaigned for it and taken key steps to ensure that the rule of law prevails, despite deliberate attempts by higher quarters to undermine same.
On October 8, 2016, Governor Wike personally led the resistance that stopped the illegal arrests of judges. He did this at the risk of personal safety. When DSS Operatives and Police personnel attempted to abduct a Federal High Court Judge, Governor Wike resisted it. This marked the end of that ugly trend that started in Abuja.
According to him: "Not under my watch wiĺl I allow this kind of impunity to take place. That is why we are here. I don't know which judge they were detailed to abduct. I didn't bother myself to know which judge. All I am interested in is that, at this level, it is not allowed.
"He is not a criminal and he is not an armed robber. If the person has committed an offence, invite him. It is only when he refuses to honour the invitation that you can adopt this commando style.
"The Commissioner of Police is here, the Director of DSS is here. Their operatives cocked their guns and threatened to shoot me. I have never seen that before. Again , this is to tell you what we are facing . We know that more will come. For us in this state, we shall continue to resist it."
Defender of Multi-Party Democracy
That the Peoples Democratic Party is alive today is a function of the vision and commitment of Governor Wike. When the party ran into troubled waters after losing the 2015 Presidential Election, it was Governor Wike that established the platform for recovery.
Even when the ruling party planted a mole in the person of Ali-Modu Sheriff, Governor Wike led other loyal members to defend the party, until the mole was weeded out.
Whatever the situation is today, the PDP remains a viral opposition and a credible alternative. Even in states where the PDP lost election, it has been clear that the party was rigged out. The strength of the nation's democracy is built on the plurality of the space available to politicians and the people. Through his contributions, Governor Wike has ensured the existence of that space.
Defence of the People's Right to Choose Their Leaders
From 2015, Governor Wike has remained a champion for the right of Rivers people to choose their leaders. He has always mobilised the people to defend their votes, despite the rigging techniques deployed by the APC and the security forces.
Each time they try, they fail woefully because the Rivers people understand the benefits of choosing their own leaders. As such, they always join the Rivers State Governor to defend their mandate.
In Rivers State, from 2016 onwards, countless rerun elections were held . Despite the massive deployment of security forces, Rivers people prevailed over the forces of darkness.
The 2019 General Elections were the worst. The invasion of Rivers State by the security forces was sacrilegious. They even attempted to invade INEC Headquarters in Port Harcourt, all in the bid to rig the 2019 elections in favour of the APC annointed Candidate. This action failed because of the framework of legal resistance that Governor Wike has built over the years.
The story of Governor Wike and Rivers people is an encouragement to all those who believe in the power of the people. With the people on your side, you can overcome all political conspiracies, no matter the depth of treachery.
State-Wide Development and Consensus
Right from his days as a Minister, Governor Wike has always worked to promote state-wide development. He has always ensured that all sections of the State are carried along.
As Rivers State Governor, all 23 Local Government Areas have benefited from major projects. No part of the state has been neglected.
Governor Wike's staying power is built on his delivery of projects. Even after winning second term, he continues to dole out projects to different communities. He has continued
It is the same for the support base of the Rivers State Governor. He has associates across all ethnic nationalities of the state and in all the 23 Local Government Areas. These are the foot soldiers who drive the New Rivers Vision in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
They form the platform for the successes and progress recorded over the last four years in Rivers State. They are the people that defeat all the conspiracies against the Rivers mandate. Working with Rivers people from all backgrounds, Governor Wike has been able to survive the devices of the APC and their cohorts.
For the Good of Rivers State
For Governor Wike, everything is about Rivers State. He places Rivers first at all times . Once you support the progress of Rivers State, you are his ally, irrespective of political affiliation. But if you go against Rivers interest, Governor Wike will go against you.
Rivers people understand Governor Wike's commitment to their welfare, hence they are always with him. There is no denying the fact that Governor Wike promotes the all-round development of Rivers State.
This is the main reason why Rivers people from all walks of life have joined the rest of Nigeria to celebrate this defender of Nigeria's democracy on his birthday.
Governor Wike will continue to make progress politically and socially because he works for the people. Even his worst critics grudgingly admit that Rivers people are TOTALLY with him. Happy Birthday Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.