Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has been a target of attacks by many people on social media over a trending video in which he showed contempt and utter disregard for traditional rulers.
The video was shot during the governor’s quarterly meeting with the chiefs recently. And some of the commenters on social media generally upbraided the governor for being drunk with power.
His rival for the River’s governorship seat in 2015, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, now Director-General of NIMASA has also posted his own criticism.
In a statement, Peterside said Wike must be called to order.
“Well-meaning Rivers people must call him to order. He is turning himself into a feudal lord and an emperor at the same time. History is replete with his likes who ended up badly after turning themselves to tiny gods,” he stated.
Peterside appealed to the traditional rulers to overlook the “shame and disrespect” meted on them, pointing out that as fathers, they should regard the governor’s utterances as that of a “child who lacks home training.”
“Wike should know that history is watching. Rivers people typically respect traditional rulers and traditional institutions. The governor must stop desecrating our traditional rulers and traditional institutions,” he summed up.
However, in a swift reaction, the Rivers State Government lashed at Peterside in a press statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communications.
“As usual, we were amused by the lame effort by the 2015 Defunct Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside to seek political relevance through a jaundiced interpretation of a mischievously edited video of the interaction between Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State.
“Dakuku Peterside and his faction of the defunct All Progressives Congress (APC) procured a video of an engagement that lasted for over one hour and lifted different aspects of the response of Governor Wike to mislead members of the public.
“Governor Wike was responding frankly to the address of the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of the Rulers wherein the Chairman requested that non-recognised Traditional Rulers should be checked by the Rivers State Governor.
“The Governor directed the Attorney General of Rivers State to prepare an Executive Bill to resolve the issue raised by Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers. He went ahead to urge the Traditional Rulers to always attend Government Functions with the Official Staff of Office handed over to them by the Rivers State Government, following the formal request by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.
“At this point, there was General applause and Governor Wike reminded those clapping that he was simply doing what is right”.