Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said that godfatherism is becoming a major political crisis impeding development across the country. He however said that unlike Lagos state where godfatherism held sway, the people of Rivers would not accept it in the state.
Backstory: The governor’s comments in an interview was in direct reference to his predecessor in office, Rotimi Amaechi, who he accuses of trying to impose a governor on the state. He said the reason for the conflict between him and Amaechi is the latter’s quest to impose a governor on Rivers State.
Quote: “I will not support anyone dictating what will happen in Rivers State. The crisis you are seeing is the struggle to bring a successor. Everybody who worked with him is bad. I held the home-front when he ran away to Ghana on exile and the other Senator he is fighting worked for him. If everyone that associates with you is bad, then something is fundamentally wrong,” Wike said.
The Lagos angle: Wike said the Lagos model of godfatherism was unlikely to work in Rivers. “After spending eight years as Governor, someone wants to superintend on the activities of the state. This is not Lagos State. We are different,” he said. Recall that only in the last few weeks, the incumbent governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi AMbode, lost his reelection bid following his rejection by the party’s leader, Bola Tinubu.
For someone who once depended on a ‘godfather’ when it suite him, Wike now claims to have made an about-face about the matter. He even said when he completes his “two terms as governor in 2023”, he will not be involved in the struggle to impose a successor. That is however difficult to believe considering that Wike is the same governor who last year was so bent on imposing his preferred candidate for national chairman on his party and recently threatened his party in the buildup to the PDP national convention which held in Rivers.