Connect with us

Politics

Engr Emeka Woke: Chief Of Staff Extraordinaire

Published

on

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” – Albert Einstein.
Two  state matters of importance, among others, which the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Engr Emeka Woke, had dealt with frontally, without fear of  intimidation or favour, present him as an officer worth his salt and deserving of commendation.
These matters which had the potential of portraying the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike in bad light to the unsuspecting public, have spurred me to give him thumbs-up, warranting this  article on his personality as an exemplary Chief of Staff, worthy of emulation.
Recently, Chief Emeka Woke stole my heart when, in very strong terms, at Opobo Town, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, during the grand finale of the just concluded “Operation Obtain Your PVC Sensitisation Rally” of the  Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in Rivers State, debunked the rumours making the rounds in the media by some Abuja-based or Diaspora Rivers politicians who cannot win elections in their wards, trying to blackmail and drag the name of our revered Governor, the Political Lion of Nigeria, the inestimable leader and, arguably, the strongest pillar and mainstay of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the mud.
To say the least, it is malicious and repugnant that these charlatans attempted to smear the immaculate image of the Pride of Rivers State, His Excellency, Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS(Africa) and the forthright political class of the Peoples  Democratic Party in the State with lies that a meeting was held in Government House with the intention to harass, molest, intimidate and assassinate members of their splinter  group in the same party for holding different political views from that of the Governor on their Presidential flag- bearer.
To the credit of the Chief of Staff, the  allegations were undressed and dismissed as he declared them spurious, unfair, unfounded, unfortunate and mischievous evil concoctions aimed at causing disaffection and bringing the towering Governor, his unimpeachable administration and the formidable ruling party in the state to disrepute.
The maverick politician in his own right, affirmed the capability and capacity of members of the Peoples Democratic Party to resolve their internal differences and wranglings in Rivers State and elsewhere, and at any time, in peace which is the hallmark of a family bonded by love. He, therefore urged Rivers people in particular, and Nigerians in general, to disregard and discountenance the allegations and their fabricators whose main agenda is to de-market the  PDP and the State.
Of course, society watchers are in full agreement with the Chief of Staff on his timely and robust intervention and admonition since the two groups belong to the same political party that is contending to win the coming elections both in the State and at the centre. He clearly acted wisely as rumors of such magnitude, if not urgently nipped in the bud, could work against the interest of his principal, the party and the people of the State  at a time of tensed political atmosphere in the nation as the 2023 general elections beckon.
For good reason, it is expedient to advise that politicians at all levels should endeavor to rise above pettiness and present themselves as true leaders of the people by showing restraint in their public utterances so as not to cause disaffection or chaos within the unsuspecting public.
What renegade politicians should not fail to understand is that politics is a game that should be played by the rules and not to be approached as a do -or -die contest because only the living is guaranteed to play the game in due seasons, again and again.
It must, as well, be understood that success in politics is always a product of team work with established structures at Units, Wards, Local Governments, States and the Centre. It also requires the players to be on ground at the grassroots and not from the Diaspora, on pages of newspapers and electronic or social media.
One, therefore, finds it heartwarming that the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, quickly, effectively and efficiently rose to the occasion in dispelling the dangerous rumours that such meeting ever held, reassuring and inspiring confidence that democracy is on course in the State and that those who are working to pollute the political atmosphere are identified, isolated and disarmed.
The second reason that endeared the Chief of Staff to me was another  proactive action he took some years ago. It was a similar scenario that tended to inflame passion and raise political tension in the State.
The case in point was that of ranting of one Chief Gani Toba, who went on Rhythm FM “‘View Point “ programme to blackmail and castigate the Governor and government of Rivers State on trump-up, frivolous and unfounded allegations of non-performance, ostensibly sponsored by detractors, traducers, naysayers and enemies of the multiple award-winning and serially acclaimed best performing governor in Nigeria.
On that occasion, Engr Woke  made his way into the studios of the radio station with hard-cold evidences of facts and figures to meet the blackmailer and debunked the white lies, while challenging Chief Toba to recant his wicked claims or face legal action.
Of course, those who tuned to the programme on the day were held spell-bound as the attention-seeking, self-styled Ogoni-born environmental activist was taken to the cleaners and his frivolous allegations completely destroyed without much ado.
It is worthy of note that since that singular bold, courageous and spontaneous reaction of Engr Woke, no one in the State has dared to brazenly brandish such lies and unsubstantiated allegations against the governor and the government, not Chief Toba or anyone else.
Certainly, that encounter sent strong signals to everyone, especially those who harbour evil motives against the government and its Chief Executive, that  a no-nonsense  Chief of Staff that would not condone misguided, ill-advised and deliberately fabricated falsehood intended to discredit and distract his boss, the Governor, was in office and alive to his responsibilities in the Rivers State Government House.
Political observers are of the opinion in many circles of discussion that the Chief of Staff  needs commendations for his proactive actions in times of potentially volatile happenings which might culminate to a breach of the peace in the State.
They say that he is a square peg in a square hole who had long synergised with Governor Nyesom Wike from the foundation of the NEW Rivers Vision and through to the 2015 general elections. He did not leave the side of the Governor during the turbulent and trying moments of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the All Progressives Congress (APC) held sway and dominated  power in the state.
In the face of the high challenge of wresting power from the APC in those days, Chief Woke, along with other like minds, kept faith with Governor Wike in the battle to overcome the odds against contending with the power of incumbency and coming out victorious when many could not stand the heat and capitulated.
He is an apostle, unapologetic loyalist, a Mente and scion of the political order of Governor Nyesom Wike, the toast and grandmaster of contemporary Nigerian politics, who has remained with his master in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from inception of political party formation in 1998.
Engr. Chukwuemeka Woke is, therefore, a well established political personality in Rivers State that needs little or no introduction. Simply known as  Chief Emeka Woke, he is well spoken of for his resilience, resourcefulness and bravery.
He was appointed by Governor Nyesom Wike, aka Mr. Quality Projects of Nigeria, in 2015, upon the inception of his (Wike) administration, and has kept his job till date.
Chief Woke, a proud son of Ikwerre Ethinic Nationality was a former elected Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, who was  during  his tenure as council boss, adjudged by political pundits as  meticulous, meritorious and frugal in the running of the affairs of the council. Many believe that these were the traits that attracted the eagle eyes of His Excellency, himself (Wike) a proven performer at that tier of government, in spotting him among others for appointment into this sensitive position of  Government.
His teeming associates describe him as a silent achiever, a man of the people, grassroots mobilizer, strict and straight forward, a philanthropist and a go getter. He is also regarded as one of the most popular and worthy political leaders in Emohua Local Government Area, who speaks  and the people listen.
Political pundits, public affairs commentators and society watchers refer to him as the undisputed head of the political engine room of Government House in the present administration.
He is among the most reliable and closest political allies of  the  Governor and his family; a confidant, political adviser and defender of inestimable value to the Governor on  government policies at any time.
Chief Emeka Woke is the 5th Chief of Staff, Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, since 1999. This political personality is definitely one of the hopes of the state in the years ahead.

By: Odinaka Osundu
Osundu, a public affairs commentator, resides in Port Harcourt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Politics

Projects Delivery: Our Record Is Unparalleled … Wike

Published

on

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that there is no iota of doubt or contradiction over the superlative performance of his administration in the delivery of infrastructural projects and dispensing of the dividends of democracy in Rivers State.
Governor Wike said such uncommon commitment by his administration towards the development of critical infrastructure in the state was unparalleled in the country at large and  exemplified the true essence of good governance.
Governor Wike made the declaration while inaugurating the Rukpokwu-Rumuapu-Izo-Ogbodo-Igwuruta Link Road, which took place in Rumuapu community in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, last Tuesday.
The governor said Rivers people were impressed about the performance of his administration and desirous to reciprocate the gesture by voting for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The governor, however, stated that Rivers votes for the presidential candidate would be decided at the appropriate time.
He said: “For the presidential candidate, I will come and tell you where we will vote. These ones (Governorship, Senatorial, Reps and State Assembly candidates) I mentioned now, make sure you come and vote for them. Very soon, we’ll meet in our houses and take a decision where we are going to.”
Governor Wike said that governorship candidates of other political parties in the State were desperate to acquire political power without any followership or  grassroots support, and charged  Rivers electorate to vote the party that had come to their aid, supported and made them happy while also sustaining the peace in the State
On the issue of security, the governor said with the inauguration of the Police Intelligence and Surveillance Centre in Port Harcourt by the Inspector General of Police last Monday, criminals involved in kidnapping would be easily arrested for prosecution.
In a similar vein, the Rivers State governor, on Thursday and Friday, inaugurated  the 13.86km Rumuodogo 1 and 2 Road in Oluua – Rumuodogo community in Emohua Local Government Area and the Mgbuoshimini internal roads respectively.
Governor Wike had also last Wednesday  inaugurated the Renal/Dialysis Centre and House Officers Quarters delivered by his administration at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital in Port Harcourt.
The inauguration of the Mgbuoshimini internal roads which was performed by the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, was the climax of the three weeks intensive project commissioning in the state as  Governor Wike declared that the flag-off of new projects in the state would commence today, Monday, December 5.
The Rivers State governor also, last Saturday, performed a major state function by conferring state awards on distinguished personalities who have made immense contributions to the development of the state through their respective disciplines. Also honored  were some state governors  and other high profile personalities from other parts of Nigeria.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the Chairman Awards Committee, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, said the recipients of the various categories of awards were selected strictly on merit.
The special guests were thrilled to a lavish rendition of cultural displays at the awards night which held at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt.

By: Taneh Beemene

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Politics

Osun Tribunal: Oyetola, APC Close Case

Published

on

Former Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, and his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), the petitioners before the Election Petition Tribunal hearing matters emanating from last July 16 Osun governorship election, on Saturday closed their case.
The panel also at Saturday’s hearing admitted original copies of Form CF001 and all its attachments used by Osun State governor, Ademola Adeleke, to contest the 2018 governorship elections.
The documents presented to the panel by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through a Deputy Director, Joan Arabs, after counsel to the petitioners, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, had checked through them, were admitted as exhibits.
Earlier, counsel to INEC, the first respondent in the matter, Mr Henry Akunebo, informed the panel that an original file of Adeleke’s GCE results, testimonial as contained in Form CF001 he used to contest the 2018 election, had been brought by his client in compliance with the order of the Tribunal.
At last Thursday’s sitting, INEC on subpoena by the panel had presented the documents, but Adeleke’s GCE results and testimonial obtained from Ede Muslim Grammar School, Ede, were noted to be blurry and the Commission was ordered to bring a clearer copy at the next sitting.
Counsel to Adeleke, the second respondent in the matter, Mr Niyi Owolade, and that of PDP, the 3rd respondent, Dr  Alex Izinyon, SAN, said they had gone through original copies brought by the first respondent, noting that the documents were more legible than the previous ones presented.
After going through the documents, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who represented the petitioners, said they were legible enough and applied to tender them before the panel.
But counsel to the respondents opposed tendering of the documents but they reserved their argument till the final written address stage.
Izinyon also said the entire documents and its attachment could not be admitted, since only two pages were said to be blurry, out of the ones previously brought by INEC.
But Fagbemi insisted that the entire documents should be admitted since the copies earlier brought by INEC had not been admitted by the panel.
The panel admitted all the original documents brought by INEC and tagged them as exhibit ‘FILE D.’
Fagbemi while further addressing the panel, said the petitioners had closed their case.
In his ruling, the panel chairman, Justice Tetse Kume, adjourned further hearing till December 20 for the respondents to open their case.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Politics

NGF Carpets FG, Rejects Blame For Poverty In Nigeria

Published

on

The thirty- six State Governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, have lampooned the Federal Government for blaming the high level of poverty in the country on state governors.
The governors took a swipe at the Federal Government, saying that its dereliction of duty was responsible for the rising poverty in the country and the reason people have been unable to engage in regular agrarian activities in commerce.
According to the governors,  the accusation by the federal government came as a surprise to them, saying that the central government got it wrong, adding that the assertion was not only preposterous and without any empirical basis, but also very far from the truth.
The Governors said that what the federal government was talking about were total lies.
The federal government through the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba had last Wednesday blamed the high level of poverty in the country on state governors who paid more attention to flyovers and airports rather than improvement of life in the rural areas.
Agba gave the admonition while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
But reacting to the allegation, the Governors said that the tirade by the junior Minister came to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum as a surprise, adding that the Minister got his message totally wrong.
In a statement last Friday  by the Director, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Governors noted that the attacks were not only unnecessary, but represent what they described as a brazen descent into selective amnesia. It is also diversionary as far as the Governors were concerned.
The Statement read, “The tirade early this week by the Minister of state for Budget and National Planning Mr. Clement Agba, on the 36 Governors, where he blamed them for the rising poverty index in the country comes to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as a surprise. The Minister got his message totally wrong.
“His attacks are not only unnecessary, but they represent a brazen descent into selective amnesia. It is also diversionary as far as the Governors are concerned.
“The Minister who should be responding to a question demanding to know what he and his colleague, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, were doing to ameliorate the hardship Nigerians are facing attempted to defray the notion that rising levels of hunger and lack were peculiar to Nigeria.
“True as that may be Mr. Agba went further to explain that their government, through many of its social security programs, has been dedicating resources to alleviating hardship, and then goes further to accuse state governors of misdirecting resources to projects that have no impact on the people.
“While rightly pointing out that 72% of the poverty in Nigeria is found in the rural areas, the Minister said that the rural populace had been abandoned by governors.
“This assertion is not only preposterous and without any empirical basis, but also very far from the truth. It is Mr. Clement Agba’s veiled and deliberate effort, as a minister, to protect his paymasters and politicize very critical issues of national importance. Instead of answering the question thrown at him by journalists, Mr. Agba veered his attention to soft targets that happen to be 36 Governors.
“It is the opinion of the Governors that the dereliction that the Minister is talking about lies, strictly speaking, at the doorstep of the Federal Government which he represents, in this scenario.
“First and foremost, the primary duty of any government is to ensure the security of lives and property, without which no sensible human activity takes place. But the Federal Government which is responsible for the security of lives and property has been unable to fulfil this covenant with the people thus allowing bandits, insurgents, and kidnappers to turn the country into a killing field, maiming and abducting people, in schools market squares and even on their farmlands.”

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending