Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON (born 13 December 1967) is a Nigerian politician and lawyer who has been serving as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory since August 2023.[1] He previously served as the Governor of Rivers State from 2015 to 2023. He is an Ikwerre man from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria.[2] He is a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and was educated at Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike in 2015
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory
Assumed office
21 August 2023
PresidentBola Tinubu
Minister of StateMariya Mahmoud Bunkure
Preceded byMohammed Musa Bello
6th Governor of Rivers State
In office
29 May 2015 – 29 May 2023
DeputyIpalibo Banigo
Preceded byRotimi Amaechi
Succeeded bySiminalayi Fubara
Minister of Education
Acting
In office
11 September 2013 – April 2014
PresidentGoodluck Jonathan
Preceded byRuqayyah Ahmed Rufa'i
Succeeded byIbrahim Shekarau
Minister of State for Education
In office
14 July 2011 – April 2014
PresidentGoodluck Jonathan
MinisterRuqayyah Ahmed Rufa'i
Succeeded byViola Onwuliri
Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State
In office
2007–2011
GovernorRotimi Amaechi
Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government
In office
1999–2007
Personal details
Born (1967-12-13) 13 December 1967 (age 56)
Obio-Akpor, Rivers State, Nigeria
Political partyPeoples Democratic Party
SpouseEberechi Wike
Children3
EducationMaster of Arts degree in Political and Administrative Studies
Alma materRivers State University of Science and Technology (LL.B.)
Occupation
  • Politician
  • lawyer

Wike was elected as a two-term Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area from 1999 to 2007.[3] He was appointed Minister of State for Education on 14 July 2011. Wike was later appointed the Acting Minister of Education, after Ruqayyah Ahmed Rufa'i was sacked but resigned before finishing his term to campaign for Governor of Rivers State. He was replaced by Viola Onwuliri.[4] In 2014, he won the Rivers State People's Democratic Party primary and chose former Secretary to the State Government Ipalibo Banigo as his running mate for deputy governor.[5]

Wike defeated Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tonye Cole Princewill of the Labour Party (LP) in the 11 April gubernatorial elections to emerge as governor.[6][7][8][9]In March 2022, Wike declared that he will be running for the office of the president of Nigeria under the platform of the People's Democratic Party ahead of the 2023 General election,[10] he was defeated by Atiku Abubakar who won the primaries with 371 votes while Wike got 237 votes being the first runner up.[11] during the People's Democratic Party presidential election primary which was held at the MKO Abiola National stadium, Abuja [12] on 28 and 29 May 2022.[13]

President Bola Tinubu appointed Wike as Minister of the FCT on 16 August 2023, following his nomination, screening and approval by the senate.[14]

Education

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Wike attended Government Secondary School Eneka in Obiakpor, Rivers State where he sat for his O'level exams before proceeding to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT). He obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from RSUT before proceeding to Law School in 1997. Wike holds a Master of Arts degree in Political and Administrative Studies from RSUT.[15][16]

Political career

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Wike began his political career as the Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers in 1999, a position he held until 2007, after being re-elected in 2003.[17] In 2007, he was appointed as the chief of staff to the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.[18]In July 2011, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Education by President Goodluck Jonathan and was promoted to Federal Minister of Education in September 2013. He stepped down as Federal Minister to contest in the 2015 gubernatorial elections in his home state, Rivers State.[19]

Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal

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On 13 May 2015, the Election Tribunal for Rivers State, sitting in Abuja, commenced the hearing on the election of Wike. Dr Dakuku Peterside of the APC was asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Nyesom Wike of the PDP who was declared winner as governor in the poll held on 11 April 2015, on the grounds that it was fraught with malpractices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.[20]

Wike opposed the hearing of the case in Abuja, arguing that the Tribunal should be held in Port Harcourt. But the then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachawa, rejected Wike's arguments and ordered that the tribunal be held in Abuja, for reason of security. Justice Zainab also ordered that, besides Rivers, all Election Petition Tribunals for Adamawa, Borno and Yobe be held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.[21]

After failing to serve Wike with court summons, presiding Justice Muazu Pindiga approved the request by Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the legal counsel to Dr Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress, to grant an order for substituted service on the governor-elect because Wike had been evading service of court summon and other processes in the petition challenging Wike's elections. Akeredolu stated that the court bailiffs had on several occasions visited Wike's residence to effect court service on him but was on all the occasions turned back at the gate by Wike's security guards upon discovery that he was a court bailiff.[22]

Ruling on the petitioner's counsel's motion, Justice Pindiga, who granted the prayers, ordered that the court processes should be pasted on the wall of Wike's house. He said that "I have gone through the motion ex-parte and it is hereby granted; all the court processes are deemed valid." Justice Pindiga then ordered that substituted service be effected against Wike either by pasting the court process on Wike's house or at the office of the PDP secretariat in Rivers state or in Abuja.[23]

The Rivers State governorship election tribunal nullified the election of Wike on 24 October 2015. The election tribunal ordered governorship election rerun in Rivers State within 90 days immediately after the day of judgment. Wike said he would appeal the ruling of the tribunal.[24]

Discrepancy in the accredited votes in the Rivers Elections for Wike

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The Election Tribunal was informed that the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers awarded Wike votes almost five times higher than the actual, authentic total number of voters accredited with card readers and Permanent Voter Cards which was 292,878, which was the total number of accredited voters for 11 April 2015, gubernatorial election in Rivers. The result was declared by the Returning Officer for Rivers State, Osasere Orumwense on 13 April 2015, stating that Wike was awarded 1,029,102 votes, thus winning the election.

However document was signed by Ibrahim Bawa, the acting director in charge of INEC Legal Unit and Abimbola Oladunjoye, head of unit, Data Management, of the commission's Information and Communication Technology Department. According to the result declared by the Returning Officer for Rivers State, Osasere Orumwense on 13 April, Wike was awarded 1,029,102 votes, representing 87.77 per cent of 1,228,614, being the conjured number of total accredited voters. But the tribunal was informed that according to INEC documents, tendered as court evidence, the total number of accredited voters in Rivers was only 292, 878. It was also common knowledge, however, that there was widespread malfunction of Card Readers on the Election Day[25] prompting the extension of the election to the next day and granting recourse to the use of manual accreditation without the faulty card readers.

The INEC document was signed by Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, the acting director in charge of INEC Legal Unit and Abimbola Oladunjoye, head of unit, Data Management, of the INEC's Information and Communication Technology Department. The commission's central server captured all actual validated and authenticated votes for the Rivers State elections on 11 April 2015, making fraud by manual accreditation impossible.

In that election, only those votes captured by the central servers from the PVC-SCR are deemed accredited and valid; manual accreditation is not allowed for governorship elections.[26] The Court of Appeal has however ruled in the case of Agbaje vs Ambode that the non use of card readers is not a ground to nullify an election.[27] The River State governorship election tribunal nullified the election of Wike on 24 October 2015. The election tribunal ordered governorship election rerun in Rivers State within 90 days immediately after the day of judgment generating uproar within the country as to alleged partisanship and corruption within the judiciary.[28]

2019 Gubernatorial Re-election

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INEC declared Nyesom Wike winner of Rivers State governorship polls on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, after suspending the process for some days.[29][30] Wike took his oath of office on Wednesday, 29 May 2019[31] at Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt as he commences his second term. In his address, he promised to put Rivers state first.

In May 2022, he contested for the People's Democratic Party presidential ticket but lost to Atiku Abubakar, He also supported Sim Fubara as the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers state

Ministerial Nomination By President Tinubu

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On 27 July 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu sent Nyesom Wike's name, along with twenty seven others to the 10th Nigerian senate as ministerial nominees.[32] On 31 July 2023, Wike was screened by the senate where he declared that President Tinubu would not regret nominating him as a minister in his cabinet.[33]

Reforms

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In line with his plans for educational reform, Nyesom Wike declared public primary and secondary education free. He disclosed this on Monday, 24 June 2019, in a meeting at the government house, Port Harcourt.[34] This was joined with complaints and appreciation; The latter from parents and former Principals and headmasters in the state. However, the Government of Wike held its ground amidst the perpetual demur until they all dissolved.

In 2019, Wike through the State Ministry of Education announced free registration for participating locals of the state in the annual JAMB examination.[citation needed]

In 2022, he signed a measure into law that strengthens a women's right to inherit property. Upon signing the bill, he encouraged women to claim what is theirs and said they should not be afraid to do so because it is their legal right.[35]

Projects

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During his second term as a governor, he kicked-off the construction of three major flyovers simultaneously in Port Harcourt.[36] The location of the flyovers are at Garrison, Rumoukoro and Artillery.[37]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ Sulaimon, Adekunle (21 August 2023). "JUST IN: Wike assumes office as FCT minister". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  2. ^ "Perceptions 2023: Nyesom Wike, Yahaya Bello". THISDAYLIVE. 5 February 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Nyesom Wike's Political Career". legit.ng. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  4. ^ Cabinet reshuffle: Onwuliri now Minister of Education (State), 22 October 2014, Retrieved 10 February 2016
  5. ^ "Wike chooses Banigo, former Rivers SSG, as running mate". TheCable. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  6. ^ "[UPDATED] Wike wins Rivers PDP gov primary". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  7. ^ "What's New in 1.5?". education.gov.ng. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  8. ^ "AS WIKE FACES THE JURY". THEWILL. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Students Enterprise of Nigeria " Chief Ezenwo Wike". Gecng.vom. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  10. ^ "2023: Governor Wike declares for president". PREMIUMTIMESNG. 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Atiku wins PDP presidential primary election; promises Nigerians unity, security". VANGUARDNGR. 28 May 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Inside Venue Of PDP Presidential Primary". 28 May 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  13. ^ "PDP conducts presidential primary election May 28, 29". 17 March 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  14. ^ Tolu-Kolawole, Deborah (16 August 2023). "BREAKING: Tinubu appoints Wike Minister of FCT, Umahi, Minister of Works". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  15. ^ Mutsoli, Vivian (14 December 2020). "Nyesom Wike's biography and career: All the interesting details". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  16. ^ Nwachukwu, John Owen (3 May 2022). "2023: I can tell you my seat-mates in university - Wike speaks on doubts about certificates". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Nyesom Wike: Wetin you suppose know about di 6th elected Govnor of Rivers State". bbc.com. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Amaechi, Wike And Pattern Of History". guardian.ng. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  19. ^ "A Gallant Politician at 53". thisdaylive.com. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Rivers State Election Tribunal hears case against Wike". Thisday Live. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Appeal Court President Ordered Rivers State election tribunal be held in Abuja". The Tde News. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Rivers State Election Tribunal hears case against Wike". Punch. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  23. ^ akinloye, dimeji (13 May 2015). "Rivers tribunal orders bailiff to paste APC petition papers on Wike's house gate". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 6 July 2024.
  24. ^ "Judge Ordered Bailiff to Serve Wike with Substituted Service". The Street Journal. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Transparent Nigeria | Voting extended in some Nigerian polling stations". www.transparentnigeria.com. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Massive Fraud Discovered in Nyesom Wike's election - tribunal told". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  27. ^ "Appeal Court: Faulty card reader can't invalidate an election - The Nation Nigeria". The Nation Nigeria. September 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  28. ^ "EXPOSED: How Amaechi Procured Appeal Court Judgements On Rivers National Assembly Cases (DETAILS) - The Trent". The Trent. 13 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Moment INEC declared Governor Nyesom Wike winner of Rivers governorship poll". OAK TV. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Full Video: Gov. Wike's emotional speech after being declared winner of Rivers governorship election". OAK TV. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  31. ^ "What Wike said while taking oath of office for second term". OAK TV. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  32. ^ "FULL LIST: Senate unveils Tinubu's 28 ministerial nominees". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  33. ^ "Tinubu will not regret nominating me — Wike". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  34. ^ "Wike declares public primary, secondary schools free in Rivers". Oak TV Newstrack. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Africa Live this week: 12-19 September 2022". BBC News. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  36. ^ "Wike plans three flyovers in 16 months - Punch Newspapers". 9 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Wike plans three flyovers in 16 months - Punch Newspapers". 9 September 2019.
Party political offices
Preceded by PDP nominee for Governor of Rivers State
2015, 2019
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Rivers State
2015–2023
Incumbent