- Analysts have called for an end to the continued fight between Governor Nyesom Wike and former minister Rotimi Amaechi
- The analysts believe that once both Wike and Amaechi are able to settle their differences, the south south might be coasting to producing the next president of Nigeria
- According to the analysts, both politicians have stayed apart, fighting each other for a long time and the entire region appears to be suffering from their brawl
The ongoing and agelong fight between Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi has started to shatter the aspiration of the people of the south south for the return of power to the region.
Both politicians do not only hail from Rivers state, they are both from the Ikwere ethnic nationality.
While Wike is from the Obia-Akpo local government area of the state and started his political career from the grassroots as the local government chairman, Amaechi on the other hand is from Ikwerre LGA whose political career blossomed through lawmaking.
But the two, not minding that they share the same ethnic background and having worked closely in transforming Rivers state have stayed at arms-length for nearly a decade.
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The genesis of the fight between Wike and Amaechi
What started sweetly as a strong political relationship, turned sour years into the administration of Amaechi as a governor of Rivers state between 2007 and 2015.
Wike had in an interview on Channels TV accused his former boss of plotting to send him out of his government because of his (Wike) growing influence.
According to Wike, his nomination as a junior minister under President Goodluck Jonathan was due to the political tactics by Amaechi to whittle down his political influence in Rivers state.
The governor had explained that Amaechi only took a ‘diplomatic’ measure against him because he felt he was becoming too powerful.
For Wike, right from that time, Amaechi began to plan who his successor was going to be with the intention of scheming against his longtime political ally.
Amaechi, on the other hand, believed Wike was a betrayal. He had said on several occasions that Wike, one of his then trusted allies betrayed him because he wanted to become the Rivers state governor.
The former junior minister, however, said he thought he was only helping a political friend and brother by nominating him as a minister after making him his chief of staff. Amaechi had described Wike’s plot to take over the state from him as the height of the betrayal.
Political watchers have, however, argued that Amaechi’s belief in rotational politics was the cause of his problem with Wike.
They stated that after being governor for eight years, the former Amaechi wanted another zone to clinch the seat of governor in the state but Wike, who is from the same senatorial zone with Amaechi wanted the governorship position by all means.
Why Amaechi and Wike must sheathe their swords
A former governorship aspirant of the People Redemption Party (PRP) in Delta state, and anti-corruption activist, Emmanuel Igbini, had a few days ago termed the disagreement between Wike and Amaechi as a useless political war.
Igbini, while calling for an end to the fight said enemies of both politicians took advantage of the situation and have continued to ensure that the fight continues.
He told the media:
“Their common external and internal enemies took advantage of this and created a senseless political war of this magnitude that has claimed the lives of some of their supporters. A member of Rivers State House of Assembly almost lost his life in the hallowed chamber as a result of this.”
The activist said he would stop at nothing to ensure that both politicians are reconciled as they are the best ever produced from the state since its creation.
Igbini said if one of them falls, the other won’t survive because they both need each other to survive.
Wike, Amaechi’s ‘war’ taking another twist
As the fight between the two political actors continues, there is an effort by both politicians to outshine each other.
When Wike became a governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Amaechi worked assiduously to ensure that he registered his name in national politics.
As the director-general of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign, Amaechi and his team conquered the PDP and took over power in Abuja.
While Wike dominates at home ( Rivers state), Amaechi remains relevant nationally. Amaechi’s appointment as the transportation minister has further repositioned him nationally and he now plans to embark on a new political trip and ultimately acquire more political empire for himself.
If Ameachi’s quest for the nation’s presidency succeeds, he will have a better standing against Wike and will become more relevant nationally.
Wike at that time would have become an ex-governor and would be subjected to Amaechi’s probe and other things. Wike is rounding off his tenure in 2023 and needs to remain relevant even after his government had ended.
What does Wike plan to do?
Like Amaechi, Wike had planned to return power to the south by becoming the next Nigerian president.
This, he displayed in his effort at the just concluded PDP national convention where he ran in the primaries.
Analysts believe that if he had won the primaries, and knowing that Amaechi and the APC are waiting at the door, the Rivers governor would have gone all out to win the election.
Wike had even boasted that he was the most formidable to wrestle power from the stronghold of the APC come 2023.
Wike almost got there, but a twist shortly before the election started skewed things against him. Tambuwal, his former ally joined Atiku to displace him.
Wike who had earlier promised to remain in the PDP no matter the outcome of the election has not made any fresh political move to another party yet.
It’s believed that unless Wike becomes Atiku’s running mate or gets assurance for the position of Chief of Staff, his political relevance even after his tenure will remain in doubt.
But Wike, in his calculation to drag Amaechi down the political ladder, has already instituted a corruption case against him, targetting his presidential ambition.
Amaechi’s media team has been struggling to explain since the supreme court agreed that the former Rivers state governor has a case to answer in the N96 billion corruption charges brought against him by the Rivers State Government.
It’s, therefore, yet to be seen if Wike’s strategy will work as the APC heads to the presidential primary next week.
What will Amaechi do?
Amaechi’s fate will depend entirely on the outcome of the presidential primary. If the former minister emerges victorious at the primary, the dominance war between him and Wike may have been won temporarily.
But if he fails to grab the party’s ticket, there shall be teh air of uncertainty around him. Also, the APC is done with its screening and will be heading to its presidential primary on Monday and Tuesday.
Despite the supreme court ruling that Amaechi has a case to answer in the corruption charges brought against him by his state, Amaechi appears to have scaled the party’s screening and is ready for the primary.
However, with the changing dynamics in the polity, especially with the emergence of Atiku Abubakar, APC is currently weighing the option of picking a northern aspirant or a stronger aspirant from the majority zone in the south.
Amaechi is from the minority south-south. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Bola Tinubu, according to widespread speculation are being considered Atiku’s opponents.
And like Wike, unless Amaechi is picked as the running mate or gets the assurance of the position of chief of staff, his political growth at the national level will be thwarted.
Has Wike, and Amaechi’s fight cost South-South another opportunity in Aso Rock?
While there is a general belief that both Amaechi and Wike would have teamed up in the agitation for a southern president if not for their agelong fight, others believe that the fight is a smokescreen to deceive the public into believing that there is actually a fight where there is none.
According to Chinedu Iwuna, a political analyst, Ameachi and Wike’s fight is a strategy put in place by both politicians to promote what he termed the ‘Ikwere agenda’ of taking over politics both in the state and at the national level.
2023 presidency: Big trouble for Rotimi Amaechi as Supreme Court delivers ruling on corrupt allegations
Iwuna believes that their fight couldn’t have cost the south-south the opportunity of grabbing the ticket of either APC or PDP as they both belong to different political parties.
“It’s not a personal fight as perceived by the public. Their fight is aimed at deceiving the rest of us in order to perpetuate their Ikwerre agenda.
"You have heard the two speak at different fora that the history of Rivers state cannot be said to be complete without a reference to the Ikweres.”
But Mr Emmanuel Ajah, a lawyer believes that:
“Where two elephants fight, the grass suffers.’ This fight to take back power to the South-South would have worked better if Wike and Amaechi had not parted ways.
"If the two had remained in the same political party, harmonizing their thoughts and strength, we would have returned power to the south-south."
"Remember, Jonathan did a single tenure and we deserve another shot at it. But this gladiatorial fight between the two has frustrated everything. Each person tries to bring the other one down.“
Whatever the situation, the fate of both political actors will depend on the outcome of the general election.
To become the vice president or chief of staff, either APC or PDP will have to emerge winner of the presidential election.
In the meantime, there are other political parties waiting at the corner to play the spoiler. Only time shall tell.
PDP convention: Support group reveals how politicians ganged up against top party presidential aspirant
A group had alleged that some top PDP leaders have failed in their last bid to stop Governor Nyesom Wike from emerging as the party presidential candidate at the primaries.
The Peoples Democratic Party Frontliners' said the leaders had planned a coup against the Rivers state governor and PDP 2023 presidential aspirant.
According to the group, the gang up against the governor began after several other groups had predicted that Wike could clinch the PDP's 2023 presidential ticket.
2023 presidency: Big trouble for Rotimi Amaechi as Supreme Court delivers ruling on corrupt allegations
An appeal by the former minister of transportation Rotimi Amaechi had been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The court said that the appeal by the governor to challenge a probe on his financial activities in Rivers state.
According to the court, Amaechi's appeal against Governor Nyesom Wike's move to probe him lacks merit.