Foremost pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has described the on-going political crisis in Rivers State as a strictly party affair and condemned the involvement of Nigeria’s electoral commission-appointed and court-affirmed President, Bola Tinubu in the effort at its resolution.
In a press release issued today analysing the crisis and stating it’s positions, the group described both Tinubu and the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and immediate past governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike as working in cahoots to destabilize the state just for selfish personal aggrandizement.
While noting that Tinubu and Wike’s attempt at resolving the crisis will not yield any good results because both do not mean well, the group urged the people of Rivers State to ignore the ethnic colorations being introduced in the unrest to unite and maintain the peace.
Below is the text of the release as signed by NADECO’s Publicity Secretary, Mr David Adenekan:
1. The crisis in Rivers State transcends tribal and ethnic divides. Chants of “Ha Izon, Izon keme
Mi? Asawana, Ikwerre Anu Meka, Ekpeye Mikani O, etc” are misguided, as the issue is not
about upland versus riverine or Ijaw versus Ikwerre.
2. At its core, the conflict revolves around the people of Rivers State uniting against the
perceived tyranny of one individual who sees himself as an emperor. This struggle is a
battle between good and evil, democracy versus anti-democratic principles, and the
pursuit of good governance against political machinations and godfatherism.
3. The role of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in resolving this crisis is questionable.
Instead of internal resolution, it is perplexing that individuals like Mr. Tinubu and the All
Progressives Congress (APC) are involved in inviting Fubara and Wike to Abuja. Governor
Fubara’s willingness to engage with Mr. Tinubu and the APC raises concerns about his
independence and the sincerity of the PDP’s internal conflict resolution efforts. Literally,
it is as if Governor Fubara willingly presented his neck on the chopping board for Wike,
Tinubu, and APC to chop off.
4. Wike is destroying PDP in Rivers State for the benefit of Tinubu and APC, Tinubu is tutoring
Wike on godfatherism and how to bankrupt Rivers State. It is therefore an irony that Fubara goes to Tinubu and the APC to resolve a PDP matter. Both Tinubu and Wike are fomenting the crisis because they are the ultimate beneficiaries of the outcome.
5. The people of Rivers State must stand united against the influence of Wike, Tinubu, and
the APC. The proposed agreement should be rejected, as Governor Fubara serves the
people of Rivers State, not the interests of Wike or Tinubu. The resistance against external
manipulation and the preservation of the state’s autonomy are paramount.
6. Consequently, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO USA) condemns the unfolding
events in Rivers State orchestrated by the former governor of Rivers State and now
Minister of FCT, Mr. Nyesom Wike, and calls for the settlement by Tinubu to be rejected
outright in order for Good Governance and the Rule of Law to Prevail.
NADECO USA needs no introduction as Nigeria’s premier and foremost pro-democracy organization dedicated to promoting democracy, good governance, and the rule of law in Nigeria.
Comprising individuals committed to the principles of democracy, NADECO USA advocates for the rights and well-being of Nigerian citizens.
The recent tumultuous political events in Rivers State, particularly the escalating conflict between
former Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Sim Fubara, bring to mind Socrates’ prophetic
words on democracy. Socrates, around 470-399 B.C., foresaw a grim future for democracy,
asserting that it would crumble under the weight of accommodating Thieves and Fraudsters and
the Rise of a Worse Dictatorship with dubious intentions. Thieves and fraudsters, seeking
important government roles, would exploit the democratic system to attain positions of authority.
Socrates warned that when individuals with criminal and malevolent motives democratically
ascend to power, the result would be a more oppressive dictatorship than what might be
experienced under traditional forms of governance like monarchy or oligarchy.
As we witness the unfolding political drama in Rivers State, Socrates’ ancient insights resonate
with a disconcerting relevance. The clash between Wike and Fubara serves as a contemporary
illustration of the challenges democracy faces when confronted by individuals with less-than-
scrupulous intentions. The cautionary words of Socrates encourage reflection on the potential
pitfalls of democratic systems when not safeguarded against manipulation by those who seek power for nefarious purposes.
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO USA) expresses deep concern over the unfolding
political turmoil in Rivers State, Nigeria, where the former governor Nyesom Wike was allegedly
orchestrating and telegraphing the impeachment of the sitting governor, Sir Sim Fubara, from
NADECO USA, an advocate for democracy, good governance, and the rule of law, firmly believes
in the importance of upholding these principles for the benefit of the people of Rivers State. The
organization is deeply troubled by the potential ramifications of Mr. Wike’s actions, which could
escalate ethnic tensions between the Ijaws and the Ikwerres in the Niger Delta region and, by
extension, the entire nation.
NADECO appeals to the people of Rivers State to Reject the so-called Agreement reached by Wike
Political agreements of this nature are capable of destroying our democracy as they carry
significant implications and consequences. So, Mr. Bola Tinubu is now a court of law where
political parties can resolve their differences. By implication, Tinubu has overruled a subsisting
injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in Port Harcourt. Stakeholders and the
public must voice their concerns and opinions to uphold transparency and accountability in this
NADECO shares the deep concerns of millions of Nigerians in general and the people of Rivers
State regarding the terms and potential implications of the so-called agreement.
NADECO maintains that the agreement is undoubtedly coercive and intimidating, and as such, advocates for its outright rejection. Governor Fubara should be cautious not to allow himself to
be manipulated by Tinubu. The agreement, as we know, is one-sided, leaving Governor Fubara
exposed to the plots of the former governor, Chief Wike, while strengthening his adversaries. The
proposed terms, particularly the return of power levers to Wike’s control, do not guarantee a
favorable political future for Governor Fubara.
NADECO encourages Governor Fubara to stand firm and continue with the process of uncoupling
and dismantling Wike’s political structures. This would safeguard the interest of the people of
Rivers State, give him the freedom to govern and also contribute to the preservation of the
democratic values we hold dear.
The Niger Delta, particularly Rivers State, plays a crucial role as the breadbasket of Nigeria. Any
crisis in this region has the potential to escalate quickly, affecting not only the residents of Rivers
State but the entire nation. NADECO USA urges all parties involved to prioritize the well-being of
the people and the stability of the region.
Truth be told, Mr. Wike, the immediate past executive governor of Rivers State wants to replicate what Mr. Bola Tinubu did in Lagos State since the return of democracy in 1999. Mr. Wike is a Tinubu wannabe. Period! During his tenure as the governor of Rivers State, he used the state’s
resources to intimidate and bully Rivers people into submission.
Mr. Tinubu who is Wike’s mentor was exactly what Wike is trying to duplicate in Rivers State – a
Machiavellian operator who has rigged himself to become the President of a very powerful black
nation in the world, while Wike was and still is a belligerent combatant that found his way as a
LGA Chairman, Chief of Staff to a governor, double stint minister, of which we must all accept even
grudgingly, that he has successfully turned himself to a political terror in the Nigerian context.
Tinubu himself was a power-hungry politician with a reputation for destroying democratic values
and dehumanizing Lagosians. Wike is exactly the same. If we could recall, Tinubu made kings and
expected returns from them in various people. Similarly, Wike is attempting to make kings, sit on
their scrotums, and demand financial returns from them.
For example, Mr. Tinubu was on Governors Fashola’s and Ambode’s throats from the beginning to the end of their terms when they tried to stray from the family plan he gave to them, fleecing and shaking down the resources of Lagos State. Well, it worked for Tinubu in Lagos why should it not work for me in Rivers State, asked Mr. Wike. For some reason, Mr. Tinubu managed to keep the people of Lagos under wraps but whether Mr. Wike is able to hold the people of Rivers State down as Tinubu did in Lagos remains to be seen.
By the way, where is the structure that Mr. Wike keeps referring to? Could the structure be the
mafioso votes secured for Tinubu during the flawed 2023 presidential election? There was no
free and fair election conducted in Rivers State during the 2023 elections.
For the record, NADECO USA doesn’t endorse godfatherism and mafia politics, in fact, NADECO despises them.
The people of Rivers State woke up to an unnecessary and unneeded embarrassment after
watching their former governor singing On Your Mandate and dancing like Klint the Drunk for
Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Wike seems to resemble the case of a man who never dreamt of taking the Ozo traditional
chieftaincy title, but eventually did. Instead of wearing the symbol on the leg, he decided to wear
his on the neck!
Therefore, NADECO USA by this press release condemns Mr. Nyesom Wike’s attempts to interfere with the democratic process in Rivers State and unreservedly commends Governor Sim Fubara
for his courage in confronting such actions. The organization calls for an immediate cessation of
any activities that could jeopardize the peace, security, and unity of Rivers State.
Generally, Nigerians are quick to say that politics is all about interest. Yes, it is but the question is,
whose interest? Most Nigerian politicians erroneously, of course, Mr. Wike included, believe that the interest referred to here is their personal interest. No not true. What is at stake in the burning
crisis is in the state is the interest of the people of Rivers State, not Wike’s.
Therefore, NADECO USA hereby calls upon Mr. Wike to desist from what is perceived as political
machinations and treacherous endeavors, and we state unequivocally clear that Rivers State is
not his personal property.
Furthermore, NADECO USA encourages the people of Rivers State to reject any resolution of the
crisis by Tinubu and his crony Wike. All political actors should engage in constructive dialogue,
not destructive dialogue as Wike and Tinubu are pushing and uphold the rule of law, and work
towards fostering good governance in Rivers State for the prosperity of its residents.
NADECO further calls on the relevant agencies to thoroughly investigate the recent allegations
made by a member of the National Assembly, Hon. Boma Goodhead, concerning the death of a
DPO and also the funds earmarked for the Ogoni oil cleanup project. It is important to note that
some traditional rulers in Ahoada East are currently in custody regarding the death of the same DPO spoken about by the National Assembly member.
NADECO USA remains committed to promoting democracy, human rights, and the well-being of
citizens, urging all stakeholders to embrace dialogue and peaceful resolution to preserve the
harmony and stability of Rivers State.
Comrade David Adenakan,