Yesterday, Governor Wike invited the world to mental state. ‘I wish any INEC official to be sent to Rivers State from anywhere for the re-run elections should have written his will before he comes here,’ he announced.
I discern early signs of a heightened cerebral condition.
‘Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad’ is an ancient aphorism so valid and widespread nobody is sure its original maker. The moral however isn’t vague. It is about the path of doomed.
In illustrating the danger of unbridled ambition which Wike typified and still do, the consensus-builder and democratic leader who always exercises patience to hear you out, Hon Chidiebere Okwuworlu, often gathered his team – the summa cum laude Andy Oboforiobu, the historian who loathes lengthy narratives Akeodi Ali, the ever-smiling engineer Godson Green, the calm and organised Eberecchi Asonye, the business-minded duo Apola and Debo, yours sincerely, et al — under his wings during the electioneering to tell us how a former American president annihilated himself
From his experience, intelligence and political sagacity, Richard Nixon, that’s him, would have been that president Americans and the rest of the world revere for time eternal. He was so observant, detailed and thorough he dots the ‘i’s and crosses the ‘t’s in all reports he received as president, no matter how voluminous. But he had that deadly disease — blind ambition. He could sacrifice anything, no matter how sacred, and anybody, no matter how sacrilegious the betrayal, for the sake of power. His VP, chief of staff, everybody had to be sacrificed. Frustrated, his friends, one after the other, despaired into drugs, drinks, prostitution, or committed suicide. The lives of people, happiness of families and destinies of dreamers were ruined for him to hang to power. He was the meaning of cultured heartlessness.
Then the gods came for him.
In his last broadcast to the people of America before he was impeached, he insisted he had always been right, he had been a good man, he had always understood leadership and every other person else had been either wrong, bad or ignorant.
He wasn’t mad but the gods, giggling, were hacking into his mind. His view of personal infallibility and thought of political invincibility were delusional.
While the American blindly-ambitious, as the story of Nixon suggests, ruin all around them before they go down, the Ikwerre are less grand in their journey to self-destruction.
In spite of all rantings, threats and anger of Wike to whom it may concern or further deception to which he plans to subject his followers, if history repeats itself and it is sometimes in captured in fiction, Elechi Amadi, in his The Concubine, has provided us a clue of how the unreasonable Ikwerre man goes down.
Ekwueme, his protagonist, fought against the Sea God, Custodian of the Waters, (say the people of Rivers State) whose bae, Ihuoma, should be a no-go. As the old say, the gods took Ekwueme through his condemned path. He rambled. He went hiding in trees. He acted stupid. Finally, from the arrow in the hand of a little boy on a mission for his salvation, ironically, his day ended in a deserved tragedy.
Wike won’t be shot with an arrow. It can never be the wish of Dakuku Peterside or of us who work or him that Wike should die before his time. It would be cheap, childish or demonic to wish him sudden death as he wishes for INEC officials and as was perpetrated in Rivers State with regard to the election which saw him announced winner. Let him live a full life. But his story which will climax in his inevitable political downfall will teach us and guide posterity on the path of humility, honour, value and regard for people.