Being an open letter from supporters of Nyesom Wike who feel used and abandoned, after the 2015 election.
It is with humility and high regard attached to the Office of the Governor that I, on behalf of the Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Community based Organizations (CBOs) and other voluntary Organizations that supported and worked for the Peoples' Democratic Party PDP and your Governorship aspiration in 2015, bring our feelings and concerns to your esteemed person and office.
May we first and foremost commend your Excellency for your sterling performance and respectability you have brought to the office of the Governor and Rivers State. You have performed exceptionally well and beyond our imagination under the depreciating economy within a space of two and half years you took the mantle of leadership of Rivers State. We, therefore, have no regret whatsoever for endorsing, supporting and working for your victory in 2015. Infact, your achievements and accomplishments so far is our vindication and evidence that we made a good choice in you in 2015.
May we also seize this opportunity to extend our felicitation to you on your recent conferment of the prestigious award of the United Nations Global Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at the UN headquarters in New York, United States of America. For us, the award is well deserved and merited for your giant strides in the development of Rivers State. We think this award should be dedicated to God and your supporters who sorted you out as a good material and voted you in as the Governor of Rivers State, without it the award wouldn't have been.
Again, we salute you on your impressive outing at the Chatham House, UK's world address with topic: Defining Development for Rivers State and Steps to Sustainable Implementation. There is no doubt that you have, in all these, brought reputation, distinction and splendor to Rivers State and indeed Nigeria. Being satisfied with your performance so far, we hereby endorse you for a second term. Congratulations, your Excellency.
We condemn in explicit terms the unwarranted attack on your convoy on Saturday November, 11 2017 at Waja junction of the Trans – Amadi Road, Port Harcourt by the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) attached to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, while you were on projects inspection on that day. The attacks on you, our dear Governor are unbecoming, and we call on president Muhammadu Buhari to call these agents of confusion to order before they bring his government and our democracy to its knees.
You as a responsible Governor have no issues with President Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief, unlike Amaechi, so laying a siege on the state by the men of SARS and other security agents, harassing you and the good people of Rivers State is uncalled for, grossly irresponsible and totally unacceptable. We call for a stop to this childish and unpatriotic behaviour of the security agents in the interest of peace and stability in the state. Security organizations are respected institutions that should not be allowed to be manipulated by a single individual no matter his or her status in the society.
It will be recalled that in 2013, there was a sharp division in the political firmament of Rivers State. This division was occasioned by the political feud between the former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and former Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and of course your humble self.
The great and the sole political party in Rivers State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was torn apart and divided into two by Amaechi's inordinate ambition of becoming vice president under Buhari's presidency. Those who believed him, Buhari, Dakuku and APC followed them and pitched their tents in the new party. Those of us who believed in you, Jonathan and PDP remained in the party to rebuild it. The crises and the division created the worst political situation we had never witnessed since the creation of Rivers State in 1967.
There was unprecedented and unwholesome political mayhem in the State. There was rancor, mistrust, suspicion, high propaganda, hot arguments, bosh lies, blackmail, character assassination, intimidation, fighting, killings etc as never seen before in the State.
We, the members of NGOs, CBOs etc that pitched tents with you and the PDP took the bull by the horn and weathered the storm. We worked tremendously and excellently for you and the PDP and we won. We on our own, printed and produced banners, posters, handbills, fliers, T-shirts, face caps, press releases etc. We hired taxies for meetings and buses for campaign.
Barr. Nimi Walson Jack was our coordinator and he saw our efforts. He acknowledged that we did excellent work and spent money. He advised us to tabulate our works and expenses and email them to him or submit by hand to his secretary. We went to business centres and did as he directed. That was another cost or expenses. After all that, nothing has happened. No one appreciated or rewarded our efforts in any form till date.
Meanwhile, in all the meetings we had with Barr. Walson Jack and his committee at the New Rivers Vision Campaign Office, not even sachet water was offered or a dime given to us. Except one day they announced to offer us N1,000 which many of us objected and declined to accept in the sense that the amount was not up to the money we hired a taxi to the meeting that day let alone the previous expenses.
We did all these for the love we had for you, Jonathan and the PDP. It was our resolve then that no other political party other than PDP will be allowed into Government House in 2015, and it was so. We saw Amaechi's affront then as a challenge to Rivers People and we rose to the occasion. It was our hope that when you settle down and your government stabilized that you would invite us for a thank you meeting and pat us on the back for the job well done. But sadly two and half years now, we have not seen such action from you or any other person. We disagreed with some of our members who said that we were short charged, used and dumped. We know that you are not a “use and dump” politician, but a humane leader who cared for his followers. Maybe this might be an oversight that ought to be looked into now.
I personally met Barr. Nimi Walson Jack, our coordinator in his office on two occasions to inquire from him why no one talked to us and promises unfulfilled. He told me point blank that he had finished his assignment and handed over shortly after your inauguration. He said if you, our dear Governor want to do something for us that you will reach him, and that it is not his business to pester you to do something for us. He, then advised me to write to you if I so wished and submit to the security at the gate, and that you read all your mails. That precipitated this communication or communiqué.
Remember your Excellency that a labourer deserves his wage. A man who worked well should also eat well. A man who conquered victory should have contents or particles of victory on his dining table with smiles caressing his lips, but instead what we have are contents or particles of failure, hunger and anger. If a man is appreciated for the good work he did today, he will be spurred to do more tomorrow.
We appeal to you, our dear Governor to look into our complaints compassionately and encourage us to do more exploit in 2019. We need to be compensated, motivated and sense of belonging given to us in this government we chose and worked for its success. We need a Special Adviser on civil society to coordinate the activities of our NGOs, CBOs and other civil society groups in Rivers State. As a matter of fact, electioneering season is fast approaching, how do we go to the field at that precarious time with hunger and anger? How do we deliver in 2019?
Our so-called political leaders, particularly those from Ikwerre axis are not helping matters neither. They are self centered. They are neither accessible nor approachable. Call them on phone, they will not answer. Send them text, they will not reply, and ask for little favour, they will not grant you. What manner of leaders are they? Infact, it is a curse to queue behind such leaders in the same party. Their behaviours and attitudes are generating anger and hatred for your government.
What break the camel's back and fueled the anger in the minds of your original supporters was the awesome and over whelming reception you and the PDP accorded to APC, Amaechi, Dakuku and Buhari's supporters who worked for them and against you, Jonathan and the PDP in 2015, and returned to PDP in just 2017. The massive reception was held at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt. We drove down there to see the miracle, we were dumbfounded and speechless. The leaders returned home with fat envelopes as transport fares. Whereas those of us who spent our money, time, risked our lives and worked for the victory of the PDP in 2015, are yet to be appreciated and compensated. It seemed we have been snubbed, sidelined and ditched.
Sequel to this, many of our members are grumbling and some are threatening to defect to APC, if defection is the salt in the political soup in Nigeria and a source of reward and recognition. It became imperative for me to bring all these to your knowledge on behalf of our members for urgent remediation and integration into this government of ours.
A stitch in time saves nine.
PRINCE IKE OGBUEHI
Prince Ogbuehi, on behalf of Wike Supporters Groups 2015