Please, Call Nyesom Wike To Order -By Johnson O. Esezoobo Esq

Johnson O. Esezoobo Esq

The dignity of power lies more in the restraint that is brought to bear in the exercise of it than the raw power itself. 

The law that makes a man Governor or Minister does not make him repository of the totality of all the powers of that office such that he should be the legal adviser, the best accountant, the best auditor, the best economic adviser, the best medical or health officer, the land surveyor, the best quantity surveyor etc as in the case in Nigeria where the Governor or Minister would not allow professionals to advise them but would rather dictate what they want. 

Obasanjo as President once declared publicly at the sweating in of his Ministers and Special Advisers that though they were meant to advise him, he was not bound to take their advice. Of course, besides the arrogance in this, the declaration does not conduce to accountability which is a major problem in Nigeria.

Once a Judge sitting as chairman of the defunct failed banks tribunal said to me “Mr. Esezoobo, the power of the Judge under the failed banks decree is very wide… I can do this, I can do that. I replied saying, “My Lord, the power is very wide such that my Lord can do anything under the seen. But one thing my Lord cannot do is to do injustice because my Lord took oath and said “So help me God”. So, it’s now between you and your God by whose name you swore”. And the Judge said “Mr. Esezoobo, that’s alright, that’s alright”. 

Against the foregoing, I should like to say that if people like Nyesome Wike who goes by the epithet “Your Excellency” and now ‘Honourable Minister’ are not cautioned, they will turn the Nigerian society to a zoo where only the most powerful of the animals survive. 

Nyesome Wike’s example of show of power is not it in a democratic society and can not solve socio-political problems that governance is all about. 

Anyone who rules or governs from gief, anger or bitterness or a feeling of it, cannot inspire the harmony and unity that the people of Nigeria have resolved to live together in or promote the desired peace that law is expected to promote.

As Governor of Rivers State, this man demolished the property of a citizen without an order of court on the ground of suspicion that the man was dealing in hard drugs in the house. He personally supervised the demolition. 

As a Governor, this man personally led a team of his State security details to the ex-MD of NDDC, Joy Nunieh at about 4am. The woman had called him to say she was under siege. Protocol dictates that as Governor, he should call the Commissioner of Police as his head of security. But in breach of protocol, the man took it upon himself to go and rescue the lady and took her to the State House. 

Ordinarily, in such a situation of rescue, the victim should be taken to the nearest Police Station to make a formal report and state who and who she probably suspects so that the matter could be investigated. But Nyeson Wike as Governor took this lady out of the obviously extreme danger she was in and took her to the State House, and that was the end of the matter.

Significantly, before the lady got the Governor on phone, she had reportedly spoken with some other prominient personalities including a Senate, Abe I suppose, who reportedly called up the Commissioner of Police who also reportedly said he was not aware of the attempted arrest of the lady. This is a security issue for crying out loud.

Apart from the risk of a possible shootout that the ill-advised action of the Governor could have engendered on that day, the issue of who deployed policemen as security officers of State to go and arrest a citizen, a woman at that at 4am has not been investigated to date. It is not every body that has the connection that the ex-MD of NDDC has to reach out to a Governor or IG or a Commissioner of Police under such a situation of distress she found herself in for rescue. 

Nigerians want a state where the protection of the law is not only in the remedy obtainable from court after the event but one that will restrain the evil doer from inflicting the evil at all. Assuming an extreme situation where the heavily armed policemen had succeeded in getting into the house, take turns to sexually molest this lady, thereafter take her away to an unknown destination and kill her and dump her. Obviously, nobody could have known who did or who was behind it. 

This is part of the danger in Nyesome Wikes’s governance style which does not fit into the 21st century modern democratic State that Nigeria is expected to be. Politics aside, performance by reference to physical infrastructure aside, in a fair assessment of his conduct in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike was more of a security risk. He should not be allowed to import that conduct into governance at the Federal level. 

Since, he became Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, some persons have been ‘relocating their houses’ literally, to their villages to avoid demolition. What this portends is a relapse into the 1940s or 1950s when people had to run away from the villages to their farms or farm settlements to avoid the hostile and perhaps oppressive tax collectors or environmental health officers describes then as ‘wele wele’. 

We cannot, after having attained independence in 1960, republican status in 1963, passed through very draconian periods of military rule particularly of the most dreadful Babangida-Abacha time that reduced Nigeria to a prodigal child of the world, go back to pick up like an already discarded piece of rag, what the Supreme Court described as ‘executive lawlessness’ in the case of Military Governor of Lagos State v Ojukwu. On the contrary, let us stand by Olatawura, JSC in Osho v Foreign Finance that ‘We have passed that stage’. 

If because of politics which we have allowed to take a good part of our senses, we cannot talk to Nyesm Wike, let the apolitical NBA take up the task of advising the ex-Governor to comport himself. Nigeria is more civilized than he is taken it.

Johnson Odion Esezoobo Esq Can Be Reached Via +234 803 320 0595