The road is narrow for one’s enemies. Whether this Chinese saying is more appropriate for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State or his committed critic, Dakuku Peterside, remains to be seen. What is all too obvious at this point is that neither Wike nor Peterside is letting the other ride over their head.
It has been a very interesting week starting with the publication of Ovation boss Chief Dele Momodu on his ‘Close Encounters with Gov Nyesom Wike.’ A riveting litany of observations, to be sure, but chances are that even Chief Momodu did not expect the fierce responses he got, particularly from the immediate past DG/CEO of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside.
In his rejoinder, the former NIMASA boss argued that Momodu had been deceived on all counts. He borrowed statistics from domestic and international sources to show that Wike has done less than nothing by way of commendable projects in Rivers and has only mastered the art of splashing his name on projects that former administrations almost completed.
Peterside practically punctured a hole in every thumbs-up that Momodu has raised to Wike. However, even he underestimated the momentum from Wike’s camp lying in wait for him.
The first person to respond to Peterside’s article, outside Dele Momodu, was Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers Commissioner for Information. He had an article of his own titled ‘Dakuku Peterside: The Tragedy of a Misguided Intellectual,’ slashing at Peterside with sharp barbs to “properly locate Dakuku Peterside within the ambit of his present hibernation and the torpor that ultimately invokes misguided hubris on his suffocating inertia.”
Then came a well-known critic of Peterside, Igo Aguma, and he let the former NIMASA boss have it. Then Wike got personally involved, dragging the coverage of NTA and AIT behind him to offload a dump of figurative spittle on Peterside. As some folks have concluded, Wike has resorted to using brawns while Peterside sticks with his intellectual guns. Who will knock the other out? Who else will join the party? We’ll see.