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Wike Versus Fubara: Godfstherism And Mentorship At Bay

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Wike Versus Fubara: Godfstherism And Mentorship At Bay
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The conflict between Nyesom Wike and Siminalayi Fubara has its origins in a complex political landscape in Rivers State, Nigeria. Wike, as the FCT minister, wields a significant amount of power and influence in the state. His expectations of loyalty and control over Fubara’s actions as governor reflect the patronage and manipulation associated with negative aspects of godfatherism.

Nyesom Wike, a prominent politician, served as the Minister of State for Education under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. As a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a party that ruled Nigeria for over 16 years, Wike’s extensive political experience and connections, gained him significant influence in the state. As a younger loyal ally, he supported the gubernatorial candidacy of Rotimi Amaechi, who eventually became the governor of Rivers State in 2007. However, their relationship turned sour, leading to a rift between them.

In 2015, Nyesom Wike himself contested and won the governorship election in Rivers State. He became the governor and maintained a firm grip on the state’s political affairs, consolidating his power and control over the PDP apparatus in the region.

However, Fubara has displayed signs of independence and defiance, which have caused tensions between the two. One notable instance is Fubara’s decision to revive certain projects initiated by Wike’s rival, Amaechi, and associating with other of his political enemies which likely challenged Wike’s authority and control over the state. Fubara is asserting his own authority and demonstrating that he will not be controlled by Wike or any other powerful individual.

The resulting crises and instability in the state highlight the detrimental effects of such conflicts driven by personal interests and power struggles. This further intensified the conflict between the two, leading to a series of crises, including the attempted impeachment of Fubara by state lawmakers loyal to Wike, a fire incident at the assembly complex, and clashes between the police and the governor’s supporters and the polarized political environment are all consequences of the power struggle between Wike and Fubara.

Overall, the conflict centers around control, loyalty, and the implementation of political agenda, contributing to tension, instability, and a divided political environment in Rivers State.

Addressing the political crisis in Rivers State will require careful navigation and constructive engagement from all parties involved. Some potential resolutions that could help alleviate the tensions and pave the way for a more stable and inclusive governance structure should be encouraged.

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First, there should be effective dialogue and mediation. Facilitating open and transparent dialogue between Nyesom Wike, Simalayi Fubara, and other key stakeholders can provide an opportunity to address grievances, clarify concerns, and seek common ground. Engaging an impartial mediator or an independent body to facilitate discussions may help build trust and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Respect for institutional autonomy must be encouraged. Emphasizing the importance of respecting the autonomy of key institutions such as the house of assembly can help mitigate undue influence and foster independence in decision-making processes. Establishing clear guidelines and mechanisms to safeguard the integrity of these institutions can contribute to a more robust governance framework.

Another potential resolution mechanism is to formalize mentorship structures. Rather than relying solely on traditional “godfatherism,” exploring mentorship models that emphasize professional guidance, capacity building, and ethical leadership can offer a more sustainable approach to nurturing political leadership within the state. Encouraging mentorship based on shared values and ethical principles can help cultivate a new generation of leaders committed to public service.

Legal and regulatory reforms should also be looked into. Reviewing and, if necessary, revising existing laws and regulations pertaining to political governance, party structures, and electoral processes can help address systemic issues that contribute to power struggles and instability. Implementing reforms aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability, and fairness in the political sphere can contribute to a more equitable and inclusive political landscape.

Fostering community engagement and empowerment can as well help to resolve such crisis. Prioritizing community engagement and empowerment initiatives can help amplify the voices of ordinary citizens and foster a participatory approach to governance. Encouraging inclusivity and civic participation can create channels for grassroots input and accountability, ultimately strengthening the democratic fabric of Rivers State.

Commitment to good governance must be enhanced. Emphasizing the principles of good governance, including transparency, accountability, responsiveness, equity, and inclusiveness, can serve as a guiding framework for all stakeholders. Promoting a shared commitment to upholding these principles can help rebuild public trust and confidence in the political leadership of the state.

It is important to note that resolving the political crisis in Rivers State will require sustained efforts, goodwill, and a genuine commitment from all parties involved. While these potential resolutions offer a starting point for addressing the current challenges, the path to lasting stability and effective governance will require ongoing dedication and collaboration from political leaders, civil society, and the broader community.

Sir Divramredje Lawrence Efeturi, KSJI, writes from Isoko North, Delta State.

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