Reading a recent attack on the person of Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, by Governor Nyesom Wike, through a proxy, Simeon Nwakudu, I felt obliged to render a voluntary duty, to state the facts in a simple, unambiguous manner, and next, leave the reader to the impartial judgment of the conscience.
The style adopted herein presents both Peterside and Wike, their personalities, motives in the respective portfolios they hold, and then, testimonies about them in the public domain. I shall sum my argument to proving that Peterside is refined, responsible and an invaluable asset to Rivers State and Nigeria. On the other hand, the evidence I shall plead in my argument shall summarise Wike in his true person – an error in governance.
While that treatise, tried as the author, a political appointee of Wike and therefore beholding to him, might, to arm-twist truth, there is no alternative to the truth. The truth is a healer of the conscience.
First, who is Wike? What is his personality? There is no doubt that Wike’s character defines his personality. Sigmund Freud, the popular psychoanalyst, considered the father of psychiatry, argues that the adult personality emerges as a composite of early childhood experiences, based on how these experiences are consciously and unconsciously processed within human developmental stages, and how these experiences shape the personality, the case of Wike deserves a new research.
But he stresses that not every person completes the necessary tasks of every developmental stage. Under such scenario, Freud argues that when they don’t, the results can be a mental condition requiring psychoanalysis to achieve proper functioning. Wike, through his actions, may be a good species for Freud’s further analysis.
Now to the specifics of Wike’s barrage of lies. First, on the 2015 governorship election captured in the opening paragraph of the essay, never was Wike elected through a majority, lawful votes by the electorate.
To state that Peterside visited the All Progressives Congress, (APC) National Chairman with bank statements and financial documents are nothing but a rehearsal of the Third Reich propagandist, Paul Joseph Goebbels, whose theory of “the big lie” sustained Adolf Hitler. This figment of the aide’s mind gives an insight into how Wike’s mind operates. Everything, including serious state business, must be reduced to cash and bank statements.
As to what Peterside told the APC National Chairman, it was never in doubt that he narrated the horror members of APC had been through in the hands of armed groups working for Wike Administration for which the author works for and labours, albeit fruitlessly, to prop its obnoxious human rights records. Wike has the worst personality image hiatus among governors in Nigeria. No essay or whitewash coating or image laundering shall clean the horrible person that the governor is. The Bible had Wike in mind when the Spirit asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?…”
Even national security agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force, said Wike sponsored violent activities and bought off people’s conscience with his stolen cash.
Because of Wike, many civil servants working with INEC are not sure how their careers would end. They are before the court. Peterside was right when he said that Wike had brought the Office of the Governor in Rivers State to a state of disrepute.
Then to the second, and the most critical question that I have to answer. Who is Peterside? What is President Muhammadu Buhari’s testimony about him? How impressed is the American Administration with Peterside?
Peterside was the sole leading governorship candidate in Rivers State in 2015. His statewide acceptance and popularity drew crowds to his campaigns. Truly, he was the candidate to beat.
Why was his popularity the threat Wike and his sponsors needed to crack? The single project Wike and those who sponsored him with stolen funds, bullets and arms, had was to stop Peterside by any means possible, including killing Rivers people.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a man, not given to flippancy, unlike Wike, had this commendation for Peterside: “Peterside’s unanimous election (as Chairman, Association of African Maritime Administrators, AMAA) is not only a personal honour and an affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.” Unfortunately for Wike, nobody has such presidential commendation for him.
President Buhari had acknowledged NIMASA’s encouraging performance under Dr Peterside especially in the fight against sea piracy through inter agency cooperation. There is indeed a new NIMASA under Peterside, but it is a story of hard work.
NIMASA under Peterside has a new direction unlike the cash cow it was under Wike’s boss and benefactor, Goodluck Jonathan. NIMASA was their ATM that the national waterways were one of the most dangerous in Africa after the Strait of Somalia, Africa’s most dangerous. But under Peterside, NIMASA today is the beautiful bride while Nigeria’s waterways, including those in Rivers State, enjoy safety.
Peterside’s testimonials also have international recognition. Wike won’t like to hear this – the United States has recognised his exploits at NIMASA. Hear the verdict from America – “It appears the energy that NIMASA has at the ports is very tremendous, as seen in all the ports we visited in Lagos.”
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) led by Commander Thomas Foster, on a visit to Nigeria, commended NIMASA for its strides in ensuring safety at the ports and expressed satisfaction with the infrastructure development regarding ISPS Code implementation in the ports. Through NIMASA, Nigeria now has about 80 per cent compliance rate for the International Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS Code. Wike won’t understand this term.
Under Peterside’s watch, NIMASA has targeted 100 per cent compliance.
While Wike is revoking Certificates of Occupancy of business chains in Rivers State, Peterside is pursuing Nigeria’s common good, creating jobs for thousands of Nigerians, including Rivers natives.
Wike is ignorant of the role of NIMASA so he should read up the function of a maritime administration and he will surely join to celebrate this pride of our country.
While Wike has borrowed billions under two years, Peterside has moved NIMASA to a giant revenue earner for the country. My summation in this matter is simple.
Peterside did far more in communities in Rivers as Commissioner for Works than Wike did as Governor in two years. Peterside’s imprint can be seen in all parts of the state till date many years after serving as commissioner.
It is dismissible and laughable for Wike to say that Dr Peterside has a retinue of Nigerian Navy personnel attached to him. Though his office as NIMASA Director-General offers him enormous access to Nigeria’s top security apparatchik, yet he maintains a simple security apparatus. This cannot be said of Wike who moves with about 221 police officers. Peterside had never returned home with naval men. He does not need to. He is at home with the people.
Wike is what Peterside has described him to be – a huge joke in governance in Rivers State that must be stopped.
- Ibitari is the spokesman of APC Youth Advocates
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