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OPINION: The King Of Gomorrah As Holiness Preacher?

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December 05, (THEWILL) – Almost everyone is familiar with the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah – how they were renowned for their violent immorality and sexual
debaucheries.

However, what made matters worse for Sodom and Gomorrah was that its citizens were dangerous corrupters: they sought to co-opt others into their vortex of shameful abominations. People of real integrity like Lot shunned them, but those with “fabricated integrity” banded with them in the fraternity of the damned. They even tried to pull down visiting angels into their low life.

In summary, Sodom or Gomorrah represented the depths of moral depravity.

It would have been unthinkable for its debauched king to have become a

preacher of holiness or for its thoroughly immoral monarch to sit in

judgement over others in matters pertaining to integrity. Were it to

happen, it would have either been described as the height of

hypocrisy or the onset of lunacy.

The foregoing can be a good copy for another Sunday School Lesson, but

in this case, it mirrors the contrived crises being orchestrated in the

PDP by the abrasive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and his gang

of Four fancifully, called the G.5 or the “Integrity Group.”

By the way, in tagging themselves as the G.5, the Wike Gang is

blissfully unaware of what that means in pop culture where the Number 5,

the Pentagram, the Pentacle and, in fact, all things related to the

Five, are usually seen as symbols of demons, devils, hell and damnation.

But this is just by the way.

Gov. Wike is a very corrupt man, let’s tell the truth. About this,

there is no controversy. But he is also street-smart. Like Lenin, he

believes in the maxim: “Call your enemies what you are.” This

explains his obsession with the National

Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. Like the “strong men” of those dissolute

cities, Wike wants to pull down Ayu from his Olympian heights. But he

continues to fail in the inglorious enterprise.

We know how the first leader of the “Integrity Group” ended, so we

now look at Wike, the leader of this “Integrity Group” too. In 2016,

shortly after becoming Governor, an anti-corruption group in Rivers

State, Peoples Coalition against Corruption (PCaC), accused Wike of

gross financial improprieties.

The PCaC, through its leader, Chief Peter Iloagbeze, alleged that while

Wike held forth as Minister, he misappropriated billions of Naira from

TETFund; diverted to personal use, over N100billion from the Universal

Basic Education Fund as well as another N20billion from the Ministry of

Education.

Furthermore, PCaC alleged that: “On the 28th day of June 2012, the

Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), under the hand of Engr. E.

Eshett, awarded the contract for the construction of Rumuepirikom

Internal Roads (Phase 1 & 2), Obio/Akpor to CICO Industries Ltd for the

sum of #2.7bn.

PCaC added that CICO did not execute the jobs. But upon becoming

Governor, Wike quickly inflated the contract and re-awarded same to

Rennier Construction Company (RCC)! The group then called on the

anti-corruption agencies to investigate Wike’s stewardship at the

Education Ministry.

But Wike enjoys immunity, and so to this day, this same Wike continues

to walk free and tar others as corrupt people! The talk is really cheap.

We challenge Wike to stop playing the ostrich. We Rivers people want

answers too. Let him call another World Press Conference and tell the

world that he does not know CICO, RCC and Hon. Henry Ogri; or that he

didn’t award an inflated contract to Rennier Construction Company, a

contract the NDDC had earlier awarded to CICO Industries Ltd, where he

has a vested interest.

But we can go even further back. In 2014, during a courtesy call on the

traditional ruler of Akpor Kingdom, HRH Orlu Oriebe, the then Gov.

Rotimi Amaechi, accused Nyesom Wike, of embezzling over N3.5 billion of

Rivers State funds.

Hear Amaechi verbatim: “My administration gave Nyesom Wike, the

contract worth N2 billion to construct Eneka Road and he disappeared

with the funds. I also awarded 14 classroom blocks to Nyesom Wike, at the

cost of N112 million each. But, as you can see, he has not built even a

building. Wike just disappeared with the money without constructing the

road.”

And only recently, the Team-leader of the Network for the Defense of

Democracy and Good Governance (NDDGG), Mr. Sobomabo Jackrich, accused

Nyesom Wike, of violating due process in awarding contracts for projects

in the state.

Speaking to newsmen, he alleged that the Governor does not publish notices

of tenders and bidding processes. Hear him: “The Governor decides what

he decides. He will come out and say this project is N200 million,

Bori/Sakpenwa road is N50 billion, and so he has paid this and that.

Nobody comes together to give him a bill of quantity, and there’s no

publication anywhere to show that this project would be done.”

And the immediate-past Head of NIMASSA, Hon. Dakuku Peterside

corroborated this thus: “Under Gov. Wike, Projects aren’t advertised

for bidding, nor do they pass through due process according to the

public procurement act. This is open-day robbery.”

We challenge Wike to come clean on this litany of weighty allegations.

For us in Rivers state, Abuja is too far away, and Dr. Ayu, his nemesis,

is just a name.

All politics is local. We challenge him, therefore, to call a world

press for an accountability briefing. What’s good for Abuja or PDP is

good for Rivers State too. And we will bear the cost: we will pay the

zombie journalists that he routinely assembles to hear his narcissistic

monologues and infantile outbursts.

We will, however, encourage the journalists to go beyond their servile

posturing to ask really probing questions about “Mr. Integrity’s” messy stewardship.

The latest media report is that “Mr. Infrastructure” paid to

“win” an award i.e. the “Distinguished Award in Infrastructure

Delivery”, which was presented to him in Abuja, on October 21.

One report states: “The so-called infrastructure award to Gov. Wike

was bought through the office of the SGF. The SGF capitalised on

Buhari’s lack of awareness of his environment to grant him the fake

award.” That’s the loud anti-corruption crusader!

And isn’t it weird that in May 2022, the Economic and Financial Crimes

Commission (EFCC) declared Rivers State ex-Accountant General, Fubara

Siminialayi and four other State Government officials, wanted for

suspected N117billion fraud? And then, a few days later, Wike imposed

the same Siminialayi on us as the PDP governorship candidate? Wike

doesn’t want corrupt people, but his candidate for Governor is on the

EFCC watch-list. Wonders will never end.

He who goes to equity must have clean hands. Wike’s hands are soiled

with the pillaging of our commonwealth. As of this December, the State

Government is reportedly owing various creditors over N300bn! This is

an administration that has received N110bn from the Paris Club refunds,

N78bn for roads constructed by his predecessor and over N2.5trn from

federal receipts! And yet, all we hear every day is: “Ayu this,”

“Atiku that.”

When he, an Ikwerre man, succeeded Amaechi, another Ikwerre man, in 2015, did he think of “Fairness, Equity and Justice?” And is our governorship candidate not from the same zone as the state party chairman? This executive comedy must stop now. Wike is not Rivers people, and his personal feud cannot become our community feud.

Nigeria is neither Sodom nor is Rivers State Gomorrah, and we will not allow this thoroughly compromised king of Sodom to keep assaulting our sensibilities with his lies. It is too tasking on our sanity.

Enough is enough. Wike should defend himself over the many allegations hanging on his neck rather than engaging in bitter tirades, demagoguery, rabble-rousing and bombastic smear campaigns.

This is the classic example of the king of Sodom mounting the pulpit to preach righteousness! It is the stuff of legends, and can only have meaning on AfricaMagic offerings!

For us, who are watching the tragicomic character on the podium, it is engendering in us an admixture of horror, concern and befuddlement. We are horrified that the man may have crossed over to the other side without anyone knowing or with people mistaking the braggadocious loudness for candour.

We are concerned that nobody is concerned about the worrisome signs: the eccentricities, the oddities, the persecution complex, the disconnection, the gaffes, the narcissism, the unorthodoxy, the bloated sense of importance etc.

In Africa, we don’t think people need help until they go stark naked. And we ask: Are there no remaining relatives in Obio-Akpor? Is there not a single neighbour or friend, who cares enough to do something before it is too late?

And we are befuddled too. How can one man be swinging like a pendulum, approbating and reprobating at the same time? In Africa, we are our brothers’ keepers. The king of Sodom, this strange holiness preacher, is in dire need of redemption. It’s time to save the king.

***Kennedy Ikpamii, a public affairs commentator.