As reactions continue to trail the actions of Governor Nyesom Wike against traditional stools in Rivers State, especially the recent trending video where the governor was lambasting traditional rulers, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside has described Wike’s statement as “demeaning, unbecoming, irresponsible, despicable, unacceptable and unbefitting” for someone who occupies such a dignified office.
Dr Peterside Dakuku, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015, stated this while reacting to the way Wike addressed traditional rulers in the state during their quarterly meeting in Port Harcourt.
A video trending online showed Wike lambasting the traditional rulers and threatening to depose them.
In the extended clip, the governor referred to one of the traditional rulers as a “small boy and a trouble maker”.
But while reacting to Wike’s actions, Peterside stated that the utterances of the Governor represent an all-time low in the history of the state, where a governor can “insult, disgrace, humiliate and depose traditional rulers at will.”
“Wike’s penchant for embarrassing traditional rulers is becoming irresponsible and shameful. Never in our history have we had such a disrespectful governor.
“Since 2015, Wike has sacked, deposed and withdrawn recognition from several royal fathers without any recourse to history, tradition and culture.
“Not too long ago, Wike threatened to depose the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, King Theophilus Princewill, just as he has severally lambasted traditional rulers as if they were his servants.
“Wike must be called to order. Well-meaning Rivers people must call him to order. He is turning himself into a feudal lord and an emperor at the same time. History is replete with his likes who ended up badly after turning themselves to tiny gods,” he stated.
The former governorship candidate appealed to the traditional rulers to overlook the “shame and disrespect” meted on them, pointing out that as fathers, they should regard the governor’s utterances as that of a “child who lacks home training.”
“Wike should know that history is watching. Rivers people typically respect traditional rulers and traditional institutions. The governor must stop desecrating our traditional rulers and traditional institutions,” he added.
But in a swift reaction, Wike attacked the former governorship aspirant for condemning his comments on traditional rulers in the State.
Wike, in a statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the State’s Commissioner for Information, said Peterside was only seeking political relevance.
According to Wike: “As usual, we were amused by the lame effort by the 2015 Defunct Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside to seek political relevance through a jaundiced interpretation of a mischievously edited video of the interaction between Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State.
“Dakuku Peterside and his faction of the defunct All Progressives Congress ( APC) procured a video of an engagement that lasted for over one hour and lifted different aspects of the response of Governor Wike to mislead members of the public.
“Governor Wike was responding frankly to the address of the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of the Rulers wherein the Chairman requested that non-recognised Traditional Rulers should be checked by the Rivers State Governor.
“The Governor directed the Attorney General of Rivers State to prepare an Executive Bill to resolve the issue raised by Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers. He went ahead to urge the Traditional Rulers to always attend Government functions with the Official Staff of Office handed over to them by the Rivers State Government, following the formal request by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.
“At this point, there was general applause and Governor Wike reminded those clapping that he was simply doing what is right.
“For Dakuku Peterside to attempt to use a frank discussion between the Rivers State Governor and the esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State to seek relevance is a confirmation of the total rejection that he suffers alongside members of his defunct political party.
“As a political toddler, who is being breastfed politically, Dakuku Peterside still relies on mischief to remain relevant. He goes about paying social media cheerleaders to cast aspersion on the Rivers State Governor on the premise of a manipulated video.
“We understand Dakuku Peterside’s frustration following the painful defeat he suffered in 2015. But he cannot climb the political ladder on the premise of needless falsehood and mischief.
“Rather than this dance of shame, he should redirect his energy on how to rebuild the disintegrated APC family in the State.
“Dakuku Peterside can be likened to a man chasing rats while his house is on fire. There are so many factions in Rivers State. Instead of Dakuku Peterside to address this shameful issue, he is sniffing around paying for videos of the official engagements of Governor Wike.
“Thank God they have accepted that Governor Wike is the best performing Governor in the country and are now concentrating their wasted energy on backyard gossip. “