By Obiaruko Ndukwe
I find it difficult to comprehend the fuss surrounding a ministerial appointment for an individual who has previously held positions as both a Minister and a Governor. Is it considered a promotion to become a Minister after having a strong desire to be President or Vice President?
To me, it appears to be nothing more than a comfortable landing or a form of compensation in the form of a pension.
I had expected former governor Nyesom Wike to take a cue from Dr. Peter Odili, who understood his own value, mission, and passion and quietly transitioned into an advisory role when he failed to become President or Vice President. No ministerial appointment could possibly compensate Odili for the substantial funds he invested during his unsuccessful journey to Aso Rock, especially not under the incorruptible leadership of the late Umaru Yaradua.
There comes a time when one should speak up and a time when one should gracefully retire from the political stage.
Attempting a desperate bid to become a Minister under the politically astute Tinubu and his associates would likely only lead to disaster. The individuals associated with Tinubu in Lagos spare no one who tries to undermine their authority.
It would indeed be a futile pursuit to spend a considerable amount of money supporting an opposition party, only to end up as an aide accountable to those whom you once financially supported while they revered you as a political godfather.
Apart from his substantial wealth, Wike’s primary desire seems to be power and control. However, can the Tinubu-led government afford to grant Wike such blatant authority and control beyond his home state? If power and control are the only benefits to be gained, then it may be a waste of both space and time.
Instead, Wike should focus on rebuilding his party, the PDP, and prepare to face the likely presidential candidate of the APC in 2027, if that is the path the divine providence leads him on. The APC will never serve as a platform for the Rumuepirikom strongman to establish a solid foundation for his future ambitions, beyond a recurring ministerial appointment.
Perhaps, had Wike abandoned his plan to challenge Atiku in the presidential primaries of the PDP, he might have found himself in the position currently occupied by Akpabio, as the Senate President.
Wike’s significant financial resources and strong alliance with the Tinubu group could have potentially changed the dynamics of electing the leadership of the National Assembly. By humbling himself and setting aside his ego and thirst for power, running for the Senate could have placed the former governor in the prestigious position of the nation’s number three leader.
However, by allowing his bruised ego to guide him, he will only receive a portion of the benefits without the full rewards.
Those who cheer and celebrate Wike’s nomination into President Tinubu’s cabinet might have overlooked the fact that Wike should not settle for anything less. If he must serve in a government whose party he has been at odds with since 2014, then he undoubtedly deserves a more prominent role. The position of Secretary of Government would have been a suitable option.
It appears that Wike’s celebrated appointment is no different from Amaechi, who also should have been given a role like Chief of Staff or Secretary of the Government. However, credit must be given to Amaechi for his exceptional performance as the Transportation Minister. In the end, someone will inevitably be sacrificed for the sake of political maneuvering and power dynamics.
Despite the significant energy and resources invested in preventing Atiku from winning the election, it seems that there are no substantial new developments or achievements for the GS group to celebrate. Despite their efforts, the desired outcomes may not have been achieved, leading to a sense of disappointment or frustration.
- Obiaruko Ndukwe, Publisher Media consultant, and public analyst writes from Abuja. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org