Editor’s note: The writer, Buchi Obichie, chides Rotimi Amaechi and Nyesom Wike for their constant public bickering. She recollects the recent events of Sunday, November 12, and warns both men that their antics may lead to dangerous consequences for other people; even as she tells them point-blank, that Rivers state does not solely belong to either of them!
When 2 Elephants fight, it is the ground that suffers- a truer proverb has never been spoken…except probably by Chiwetalu Agu, in one of his numerous Nollywood flicks!
Anyway, Sunday, November 12, was a day Rivers state residents would not forget in a hurry; as an altercation between Nyesom Wike and Rotimi Amaechi would have led to an even greater catastrophe, but for the grace of God!
Depending on who you ask, there are differing narratives as to what really happened; but suffice to say, an altercation occurred between the security operatives of both men, which eventually led to one officer being badly beaten.
After the incident occurred, the camps of both sides scrambled to pen down narratives to cast their principals in good light and rubbish the other; and Rivers state was once again caught in the middle of an unnecessary war-of-words between two grown men who should know better.
There are no words to explain why a serving Governor of a state and a Federal Minister, would constantly engage in such theatrics…in public view; and as yet, not many people know what really lies at the heart of their hatred for one another.
It’s easy to point to the 2015 general elections which pitted both men against themselves as the source of the problem- they were previously good friends- but with each new fight, one would be right to conclude that their ‘beef’ goes much deeper!
From accusations of corruption and theft, it went further to trading insults and using colorful words to describe each other – Amaechi once called Wike a ‘man-child and low-life conman’, and Wike fired back, describing the minister as a ‘scoundrel of history’!
At a point, the wives of both men were even dragged into the mud-slinging!
But then, all that is fine and good; even comical, as long as ‘shit doesn’t get real and someone doesn’t get physically hurt’- like Sunday!
At what point do Wike and Amaechi realize that their childish antics may lead to serious consequences for others who are not as powerful as them?
At what point do they become humane enough to realize that even though their lofty positions puts them at safe distances from the center of physical violence, others would not be privileged enough to escape?
The police officer who got rough-handled was simply doing his job, trying to protect his principal…he wasn’t there when both men became sworn enemies…his only crime was that his official designation ensured that he got wound-up in the scene of the attack!
On Sunday, it was one casualty (maybe?)…who knows how many would be hurt next time!
Enough is enough!
Rivers state is large enough to accommodate the ego’s of these men who do not realize that they are well within the prime of their lives…there is no need for the constant attempt to ‘one-up’ the other!
Rivers state is the property of its collective citizens, and does not bear the name ‘Amaechi’ or ‘Wike’ on its title deed!
Rivers state, by extension, belongs to all Nigerians…its affairs were simply put in the hands of certain individuals to govern…but under no circumstance were they given the right to become despots and rule the state like their personal empires!
Wike and Amaechi need to stop this nonsense immediately before more people get hurt! Rivers state is not the direct property of any of them!
This opinion piece was written by Buchi Obichie.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.
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