Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, A Friend That I Am Indebted To

By  Chief Malcolm.Emokiovo Omirhobo

LAGOS MAY 16TH (NEWSRANGERS)-To all men,  whether good or bad , sane or insane  have friends and relations and on that premise with all humility  I say without fear that  Ezenwo  Nyesom  Wike  is my friend. He is not just a friend but a friend to  whom I am eternally grateful to and as well indebted to and in that wise I must not fail to give him the testimonial that befits him while he is alive ,  hale and hearty ,  which is why I  am  condemning in strong terms his recent  demolition of  two  hotels in Port Harcourt , Rivers State  for flouting lockdown order. That act of the Rivers State Government  I must say without mincing words  is rash ,  hash, irresponsible,  illegal , unlawful and unconstitutional  but that notwithstanding  I still  maintain that Wike  like all of us is human .

My path and Wike’s path first crossed in 1992 at the Faculty of Law  ,Rivers State University of Science and Technology Nkpolu – Oroworukwo, . Port Harcourt  Rivers State. In our class then which Wike’s wife Honourable Justice Eberechi Suzzette  was part of , both of us had something in common which we down played and that is the fact that  both of us had  bagged  our first degrees  before proceeding to read law . 

Barr (Chief) Malcolm Omirhobo

While Wike had a BSC in Political Science from the  University of Port Harcourt,  I had a BSC / ED in Economics from Bendel State University.  While I started with our  class from year one because , I applied  to the University with my A/Levels result and not my degree result  Wike applied with his degree result and  joined us in year two .

Sometime in 1996 , in our final year,  Wike  was the  lead counsel  of the team of campus  lawyers of which I was a member  representing our university  during a highly publicised  moot court trial  with the faculty of  law,  University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State . Against the rules of practice and procedure , I insisted that I be allowed to address the court and without  any qualms after  going half way into the trial Wike magnanimously obliged me by introducing me to the court to take over the case  . When the other side  and the presiding judge opposed it , he pleaded on my behalf , after all it was just a moot court trial .  To tell you what,  I  mismanaged the opportunity and got the shame of my life . I goofed because unlike Wike who out of experience have an idea of procedural law  , I did not.  I  knew the principles and theories of law quite alright as a studious  and hard working student , I  lacked good knowledge of procedural law which then was not taught in the Universities but only   at  the law   school . As a result of my poor showing , we were out shined  by our visiting adversaries and the case  was adjourned sine die . After the whole episode  Wike did not blame me or alter a word .

  The moot court  trial favour is not why I am grateful to Wike but  what he did for me in 1993 three years earlier   when  I ran into difficulty in our third year second semester and  Wike  unconditionally  bailed me out twice . That semester as usual my Father had given me my allocation for the semester  in advance and in full but I used part of it to assist a friend  pay his school fees and I thought I  could   weather  it out but I was wrong,   I got stock mid way into the semester as I could hardly afford a meal and I could not  call for help from home  because that will be  highly irresponsible and insensitive  of me bearing in mind that I was given an additional opportunity   to study  law  after a first degree while I was supposed to be  working and taking care of myself and  besides  my Father had ten other siblings of mine  to care for in school .

So I decided to go begging.

I targeted three persons to appeal  for help from  and one of them was Wike . After classes, I excused him aside and told him in this exact words , “Wike , I am broke , I have nothing on me and as a foreign student I don’t have any where to get help .” Wike as loud and jocular as ever laughed ,  yab and teased  me  for using the word foreign  student but I defended 

myself by letting him know that I am Lagos based and   with compassion and understanding  Wike  asked me to see him in two days time  and when  we met he  reached into the   breast pocket of his suit   and handed over to me the sum of  N35 ( THIRTY FIVE NAIRA) or so  . I can’t remember the exact amount but the money  kept me going for over  one  week and on the second occasion there was no protocols at all,  he did the needful  without any ceremony.  With these kind gestures from Wike , I became indebted to him and told myself that I owe him one  but then I asked myself how I am going to pay him back  ? It was something I could not fathom because on Campus Wike was a big boy , he was already a politician and businessman , more experienced and exposed in certain  ways than most  of us  then in our class

We proceeded to law school and I still held my gratitude  to Wike to my chest and before you knew it Wike became the local government Chairman of Obia akpor ,  local government area , the richest local government in Nigeria , then  went on to become the Chief of Staff to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the governor of Rivers State  , from there to become a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and now the Governor of Rivers State on his second term. 

Of course I am so happy of Wike’s  achievements in life because he has done very well for himself and made us  his friends proud  nevertheless  I advised myself to keep my indebtedness to Wike in silent mode   until when he must have left office  as governor or  retirement time  but this is no longer possible because  there is no better time to do it but now by telling him thank you for helping a classmate unconditional when as innocent  young men both  of us  did not know what the future held for us and also more importantly  to counsel  and encourage him to be on the right track

Frankly , I have not seen Wike since  our call to   bar ceremony  in Abuja and enrollment as Barristers   and  Solicitors of  the Supreme of Nigeria   for  over twenty two years now and  I never made any attempt to see or visit him even though  I have the privilege of having  been

  classmate with  him and his wife.  To crown it  , I have never attempted  to reach Wike to the disbelieve of many through   a  bossom friend of mine who  was also  our classmate and  who happened to be  my room mate and school father  who is working for Wike as a senior  and highly respected aide  till tomorrow.

On the above note , I  want to state here that I am not writing this to seek or curry favours  from Wike neither am I  trying  to help  launder his image  because as it stands today I am a contented and self actualised man .  That is to say , that I  am doing  this write  up to pay a friend back in the little way that I can by   counseling and encouraging him  to be focused , forge on  and be strong .

Consequently , I advise my friend to  retreat and in his quiet time   make a critical self evaluation or self assessment of himself  and thereafter  make the necessary amends and refocus himself in the act of good governance , and the  adherence  to the rule of law  at all times .

Honestly  and certainly  Wike is not the worst of the thirty six state governors   in Nigeria  who have one way or the other breached the rule of law or exhibited  some form of bad governance.  Come to think of it  because he is  a governor in the opposition party,  who is unpretentious , not hypocritical  and  does not lick the boots  of the powers that be in Abuja  he is being starved of necessary funds and assistance.  from the Federal Government . Let’s be  candid  by asking  how much have been given to the  Rivers State Government  during the Covid 19 lockdown by the Federal government to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic ? How many people received palliative from the Federal Government in  Rivers State ? How many Federal Government projects have been executed in Rivers State in recent years? How many aids or financial assistance have   the Federal Government given to the  Rivers State in recent times. ?

While I can understand  the  tough and hard times Wike and his State are going through   as a result of the  strained and sour  relationship with   the Federal Government of Nigeria ,  my  candid  advise to Wike is that   he must not let his frustration get  the better part of him . He must humble himself , swallow his pride  and  make the necessary amends and restitutions to the people  of  Rivers State so as to win back  not  only  their trust and confidence but that  of many  Nigerians  who admire and respects him for his doggedness, boldness , courage and   frankness and more importantly he must not fail , refuse and/or neglect  to bear in mind that power is transient .

By Chief Malcolm.Emokiovo Omirhobo . A grateful friend .

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Posted by on May 16 2020. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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