Nyesom Wike, the maverick governor of Rivers State, is a toxic influence in Nigerian politics. Like all narcissists, he thrives on the applause and adulation of sycophants and praise singers. His outsized presence in Nigerian politics is fueled by the oxygen of publicity he constantly receives from the media, even for his most childish behavior.

However, after next month’s presidential election, whatever the outcome, and after he steps down as governor on May 29 and no longer controls Rivers State’s resources, Wike will gradually fade into political irrelevance. and will eventually end up in the “trash of history”. . It would be a good trip!

If those words are harsh, well, that’s because they should be. Public life is too important to be owned by narcissists, conceited megalomaniacs, who see everything through the prism of self-promotion. Politics, democracy and the party system that supports them must never be so personalized that any one individual is too powerful and above party discipline.

In a system where only parties can have political power, the strength and viability of political parties is very important. And nothing undermines the solidity of an electoral democracy like when a major political party descends into dysfunction, hijacked by self-indulgent rebels.

By forming a renegade ‘party’, called the G5, within a party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and by actively working to defeat the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in next month’s election, Wike engages in actions extraordinary counter-party activity and subverts the party system that is the bedrock of electoral democracy in Nigeria.

Worse yet, he doesn’t do it out of any impeccable moral principle, but out of pure self-interest and revenge. The G5, consisting of the five rogue DPP governors, who behave like Wike’s stingy minions, call themselves the Integrity Group, but they are utterly lacking in integrity.

Why? Because the actions of the G5 members contradict the principles for which they claim to be fighting, principles that give them such moral authority that they feel justified in going for the jugular, working with determination to ensure that their so-called party loses the election. presidential elections next month. choice. It’s unprecedented!

Without precedents? What about the G5 of the 2015 DPP? Well, the 2015 G5 worked against the re-election of Chairman Goodluck Jonathan, but they did it honorably. They left the PDP and joined the All Progressives Congress, APC, helping Muhammadu Buhari defeat Jonathan. But Wike’s G5 wants to stay in the PDP and campaign against their presidential candidate.

Think about it. Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, a member of the G5, who is seeking re-election, tells the Oyo State electorate: “Re-elect me, but don’t vote for my party’s presidential candidate.” Similarly, Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, also G5 members, who are running for the Senate, are telling voters in their senatorial constituencies: “ Elect me as a PDP senator, but I don’t vote for my party’s presidential candidate.” Those three governors, as well as Wike, who imposed PDP gubernatorial candidates on their states would also be telling voters, “Vote for the PDP gubernatorial candidate, but not the PDP presidential candidate.”

The utter absurdity of these propositions is self-evident, as is the blatant violation of party discipline. A political party is supposed to be a gathering of like-minded individuals. If an individual is wronged, he can choose to stay and fight within the party or leave. But staying in a party and openly supporting an opposition candidate is a no-no!

A recent study from the University of California found that Americans may disagree with their own party, but they won’t help the other. This was recently developed in the United States Congress. A core of 20 Republican members of Congress opposed Kevin McCarthy, another Republican, for Speaker of the House. He rejected it in 14 rounds of voting. Republicans have 222 members to Democrats’ 212.

Now, since only 218 votes are needed to elect the Speaker, only six Republicans could have voted for the Democrats’ nominee, Hakeem Jeffries, to become Speaker. But none did. Despite his visceral opposition to McCarthy, none of the 20 rogue Republicans wanted a Democrat for president. Rather, after rejecting McCarthy in 14 rounds of voting, they chose him in the 15th round. Party discipline prevailed.

But Wike’s G5 would not only vote against their party’s presidential candidate, they are also calling on Nigerians to reject it and vote for another party’s candidate. However, as I said, they are doing it without any integrity because their actions contradict the principles they are supposed to stand for.

Take the presidency. The G5 argues that for the sake of fairness, fairness and fairness, another Northerner should not succeed President Buhari. That seems fine to me. But if you take those principles to their logical conclusions, if power were to return to the South, which way should it go? South-West (eight years as president, eight as vice president since 1999) or South-South (five years as president, three as vice president since 1999) or Southeast (none since 1999)? So why did Wike, from South-South, want to be the PDP presidential candidate? Why, for reasons of fairness, fairness and fairness, he did not support a candidate from the Southeast?

Or take Governor Makinde. Recently, when Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, took APC leaders from the Southwest to the Akure house of Pa Rueben Fasoranti, the Afenifere leader, to request their endorsement, Governor Makinde sent his deputy to tell the group: “Although we don’t belong to the same party, we belong to the same race. I will do what the Yoruba elders say.” So, on the grounds of ethnicity, Makinde favors Tinubu over his own party’s candidate.

Also Read: How I Built 12 Flyovers, Also Pumped N17bn To Build PH Law School Campus – Wike

In fact, Wike reportedly took other G5 members to meet Tinubu in London. They clearly prefer him to their own party’s candidate. But do you think Tinubu’s candidacy is defensible on grounds of fairness, fairness and fairness? Are they blind to his exclusive Muslim-Muslim ticket and the ethnic and religious tensions his presidency would engender, not to mention his sharp character and lack of integrity? They are unpatriotic. They are enemies of Nigeria!

Wike sometimes says that he has accepted Atiku as the PDP presidential candidate and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, but that his real anger is against Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP national chairman, who refuses to make good on his promise to resign if a northerner emerged as the PDP’s presidential candidate. But if Wike wants to undermine Atiku’s electoral chances because of Ayu’s unfulfilled vote, what about his own vote? In the PDP presidential primary election in May of last year, Wike said: “Let me be sworn in today. Anyone who emerges here, I will support them to the fullest.” To the max? Now what?

There is a strong dose of Trumpism at Wike. In fact, it is Nigeria’s mini-Trump. As President of the United States, Donald Trump was a narcissist and a bully, who must have his way. When he lost the presidential election in November 2020, he fueled and encouraged violent attacks on the Capitol building in Washington. But now, out of power, Trump is diminished. In recent US congressional elections, most of the candidates he sponsored lost. That is what, in the end, happens to narcissists and bullies in politics.

Since the PDP presidential primaries there have been two Wikes. One angrily erupts in grievances and proclaims his victimhood. The other views politics as a performance art and provides a rolling circus of political entertainment. Well, there’s a third: a ridiculously conceited egoist, so bitter and vengeful that he works day and night against the presidential candidate of his own party. Whatever the outcome of the next month, Wike is headed for the dustbin of history. His toxicity of him degrades politics!