It appears there is no more love lost between Your Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, Executive Governor of Rivers and the erstwhile great Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family in the state, the PDP elders in particular.
Though you have remained unusually taciturn since after the PDP presidential primary election which you fought gallantly but narrowly lost, it could not be hidden that you were not happy with the outcome of that election.
A pointer to that was your address to Rivers people on your arrival from Abuja after the ill-fated primary election.
You readily blamed the failure to clinch the coveted presidential ticket on betrayal by certain persons even from our dear south-south zone but you rarely mentioned names.
Your Excellency, every other Riversman including the elders of the party in the state was as pained and aggrieved on the outcome of the primary election.
We are however, taken aback by your recent outburst over the primary election, using every possible opportunity and available forum to berate those you allege were responsible for the turn-around of events in your quest to contest the presidential election on the platform of the PDP and later to become the vice presidential candidate.
More shocking is the extreme localization of the issue whereby Your Excellency seem to have singled out the Elders of the party in the state for underserved persecution.
Your Excellency have accused some of the Elders of the party in the state of ganging up against you simply because they did not scale through the primary to be the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state.
You further alleged that some of them have relocated to Abuja, gossiping you to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and plotting against you. You are yet to disclose what they are plotting against you for since you are serving out and not contesting any election.
In a feat of anger, Your Excellency recently made some sweeping changes in some of the party wards across the state, demoting some and elevating some of the Ward and Local Government Area Leaders, a move many have described as too extreme and authoritarian and seemingly so.
May be, you drew your conclusion from the visit to the PDP presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar by some party Elders from the state. Prior to that visit, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and other PDP chieftains had visited the state to see and confer with Your Excellency severally.
The PDP Elders in the state are also stakeholders of the party in Nigeria. They are well known and respected as senior citizens of this country and have the freedom of movement and association as of fundamental right.
Most importantly, at no time had Your Excellency met with them or instructed them on who to consult or relate with which of course, could be unwise ‘to do so’.
Your Excellency, we must not lose sight of, or forget so soon the various roles played and still playing by these PDP Elders in the stability of the PDP as a ruling party in the state which has all of a sudden become a beehive for your erstwhile political detractors and critics.
Today, the PDP in the state is a party to join, some trooping in to partake in the largesse and stupendous spending being doled out to woo them while the real stakeholders who staked their lives are out there in the cold languishing in hunger and frustration.
Your Excellency, with due respect, this to us, is not how to appreciate and reward hard work and undiluted support such that you have received all these years from the persecuted PDP Elders.
The question that agitates the mind therefore, is what sin did the PDP Elders commit by visiting Alh. Atiku Abubakar whether to broker peace between their angry Governor and the PDP presidential candidate or to express their solidarity as Elders of the party from Rivers State.
How does this visit amount to, and indeed surpass all the blackmail, name calling, sabortage and defamation of character of Your Excellency by those who now dine and wine with you in the name of decampees with millions of Dollars to compensate for their insults. What an irony of fate?
Your Excellency, perhaps, it is instructive to refer you to one of the statements of Rev. Monsignor Pius Kii while delivering the sermon during the 74th Birthday Anniversary of Sir Dr Peter Odili on August 15, 2022.
According to him, “Growing up, children are for the most part dependent on parents in many ramifications. When a parent trains, nurtures and empowers a child in such a measure and manner to be able to give something of real worth to the parents subsequently, it confers on the child dignity and self-worth like no other, it provides the child with the dignity to answer love with love. It is a way of expressing thanks to parents who brought him/her into being and sheltered him or her from harm”.
By extrapolation therefore, it is expected that Your Excellency have a retrospect into the recent past and contemplate how the present place of the PDP in the Rivers State was made possible, and say without fear of castigation if the treatment being meted on the party Elders is right and justified.
Still drawing from that all illuminating homily, “Humility is the essence of royalty. Failure to remember this can be very dangerous as it were”.
Your Excellency, wisdom tells us that we are all called on, to be leaders and followers, the two concepts being of the same process and not opposites.
Leaders and followers, and in this case the Elders inclusive, must sit around the same table, engaged in the same task, asking same question: how, together, can we lift one another?
The current ostracization of the PDP Elders from their collective property (administration) and partaker in the proceeds for whatever reason is a negation of this natural justice and has the potential to destroy the hard earned party victory in the state if not now, definitely in no distant time.
The earlier therefore Your Excellency retrace your step and accord the respect and honour to whom honour is due (the Elders), the better and happier for all.
We must not allow the ‘defections of the enemies yesterday and friends today’ into the house built by persecuted Elders to delude us into self-destruction for the heart is deceptive.
The election that brought the party to power in the state was collectively won with immeasurable contributions from all, especially the party Elders who now appear to be on trial.
A good leader is not only a manager of material resources. He should also be able to manage humans with whom he works no matter their differences.
A word they say is enough for the wise.
Please Your Excellency, watch out for part 2 of this open letter.
Long live Rivers State
Long live PDP, Rivers State Chapter
Dr John B. Amadi, Spokesman, Concerned PDP Supporters, writes from Rivers state