Wike gradually losing influence as ex governor Odili declares Fubara Rivers political leader

Wike gradually losing influence as ex governor Odili declares Fubara Rivers political leader

Former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, has declared the incumbent, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, as the political leader of the oil-rich state. B

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Former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, has declared the incumbent, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, as the political leader of the oil-rich state.

By this declaration, he may have just inadvertently further worsened Fubara’s frosty relationship with Nyesom Wike, the immediate past governor of the state.

Odili, a medical practitioner, served as governor of the state from 1999 to 2007 and was succeeded by Rotimi Amaechi, who governed the state through 2015.

Wike, now FCT minister, succeeded Amaechi as governor in 2015 and governed through 2023, before handing over to Fubara on May 29.

Speaking on Thursday while commissioning a Primary Healthcare Centre he donated to his country home in Ndoni in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state, Odili said, having secured electoral victory through the ballot and the courts, Fubara is now the political leader of the state.
Odili scored Governor Fubara high on his achievement in one year in office and urged him to continue to align with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda.

Odili’s declaration came about a week after Wike said that his relationship with one of his predecessors, whom he referred to as his political father, has soured.

Wike had earlier said that he was not enjoying a good political relationship with Odili.

Ironically, Odili and Wike once enjoyed a relationship akin to that of a father and son.

The FCT minister is also not having a good political relationship with his successor Fubara, whom he helped bring into office.

The relationship between them turned sour just a few months after Fubara assumed office. This is believed to have had a ripple effect on the once-warm relationship between Wike and Odili, who is said to be against any plot to remove Fubara.

The feud between Wike and Fubara had deteriorated to the extent of prompting an intervention by Tinubu, who midwifed a controversial peace deal between the duo after seats of 27 Pro-Wike lawmakers in Rivers State House of Assembly were declared vacant following their defection to the All Progressives Congress.

The feud began last October when the Pro-Wike lawmakers initiated an impeachment move against Fubara, a development that resulted in the bombing of a section of the assembly complex and its subsequent demolition by the Rivers State Government.

A former commissioner of Water Resources in the state, David Briggs, had said that Wike was not happy with Odili because he (Odili) refused to endorse the impeachment attempt on Fubara by the Wike-backed lawmakers.

Declaring Fubara as the political leader in a state where many believed Wike still holds the political leadership and structure may pass as a challenge to the FCT minister and may further worsen the deteriorating relationship between Wike and Odili.

On the other hand, Odili’s action also suggests that Wike is gradually losing grip on the political structure in the state.