OPINION: Rivers Politics: Of godfather-Wike and godson-Fubara

By Saliu Olanrewaju Lah

The political rigmarole between former Governor Nyesom Wike and Siminalayi Fubara in Rivers State have garnered significant attention. Nyesom Wike, often referred to as the “Godfather,” is the former Governor of the state, while Siminalayi Fubara who is now the current governor of the state is perceived as his political protégé or “Godson.”

Former Governor Nyesom Wike is a prominent figure in Nigerian politics, known for his strong influence and political maneuvering within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is recognized for his assertive leadership style, which has earned him both praises and criticisms. Wike’s tenure has been marked by his push for infrastructural development, particularly in the state capital, Port Harcourt.

Siminalayi Fubara, on the other hand, is a rising political figure who came to limelight after the March 2023 General elections and has aligned himself with former Governor Wike. As a “Godson,” Fubara is believed to have received political support and guidance from Wike, which has contributed to his advancement within the political landscape of Rivers State. Fubara has been able to leverage the backing of the former Governor to gain prominence and influence in the region.

The unfolding political drama between these two individuals stems from the complex dynamics of power, ambition, and vested interests that often characterize Nigerian politics. It is important to note that the specifics of this drama may vary and evolve, as political situations are subject to constant change and adaptation.

The crises between Godfather and Godson is a regular occurrence in Nigeria politics. Lest we forget the crises between Chief Chris Uba and former Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra State, Former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State and his then deputy Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje are examples of love lost between Godfathers and Godsons. Former Governor Adams Oshiomole and his political godson Governor Godwin Obaseki is another example. The list is however endless.

However, trouble started when some state House of Assembly members believed to be loyal to the former governor attempted to impeach the governor for offences not stated. The governor in a swift reaction went to the Assembly complex where some assailants had set fire on the buildings in order to carryout an on the spot assessments. In the ensuing incident, the Governor was shot at and escaped as a results of the efforts of his security details.

In a dramatic move, 27 members loyal to the former governor defected to the ruling All Progressives Party. These moves by the lawmakers have further exacerbated the crises in Rivers State as their seats have been declared vacant by the Speaker of the House of Assembly loyal to the Governor.

In an attempt to solidify and assert his authority, the Governor in the early hours of Wednesday, ordered the Assembly buildings to be demolished claiming that the buildings needed to be rebuilt as a results of the fire incident that ravaged the complex.

In another dimension to the crises, about 10 members of state executives have resigned their appointments claiming personal reasons for their actions.

It is worth mentioning that the relationship between political godfathers and their godsons/goddaughters is a common occurrence in Nigerian politics. These mentor-mentee relationships often involve the transfer of influence, resources, and political capital, which can shape the trajectory of a political career. However, they can also lead to tensions, power struggles, and disputes if conflicting interests or ambitions arise.

Ultimately, the unfolding political drama between former Governor Nyesom Wike and his “Godson” Siminalayi Fubara in Rivers State reflects the complex interplay of power, influence, and personal ambitions within the realm of Nigerian politics.

Therefore, it is important for all the stakeholders in Rivers State to sheathe their swords in order for peace to reign and move the state to a greater heights.

Saliu Olanrewaju Lah is a freelancer and an advocate of good governance writes from the ancient city of Ilorin



Ibrahim Sheriff is the Editor of Fresh Insight and former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly. Although a management science researcher by training, he has over five years experience of practice in Journalism, Public Relations and Communication Strategy. Sheriff holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Kwara state University, Malete. He has Certificates in Digital Journalism, Enterprise Creation and Skill Acquisition (ECSA) and Basic Econometrics Data Analysis, as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) Certificate in Business Management. He is also a holder of Diploma in Cooperative Studies from Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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