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Wike, the Emperor! Wike, the Kim Jong-Un

Wike, the Emperor! Wike, the Kim Jong-Un – By NewNigerianPolitics (NNP) (Editorial)

Wike’s recent actions of banning all #Endsarsnow protests and his personal involvement in the demolition of two hotels whose owners allegedly violated his lockdown orders, remind one of the ruthless Roman Emperors who terrorized their subjects to obtain absolute loyalty. Be it Emperor Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula or Nero, their tyrannical mien was trumpeted from the rooftop, serving ample notice of their sordid intent and inhumane proclivities. In the rule of most of the Roman Emperors throughout history, one fact was constant, that fear was the currency of their rule, and it enabled them to oppress their subjects with some ruling as long as forty years.

The currency of fear pervades in another “empire” of sorts, one ruled by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. Wike is acting like a Roman Emperor with maximum power, without reproach and accountable to none. Two days ago, he promulgated an executive order banning all #Endsarsnow related protests in his state on the flimsy grounds that the offensive police unit of SARS has been disbanded. Therefore, there cannot be protests on the excesses of a police unit that no longer exist.

This is as infantile as it gets, a dwarf reasoning not befitting of a lawyer, a former junior minister of education and governor. Wike’s advisers ought to properly inform him that the protesters have a constitutional right to protest peacefully and not even him, a mere governor (even the president couldn’t deny them), could deny them this fundamental right. This was why the youths defiled his meaningless and illegal ban on protests to continue their call for an end to systemic police brutality. Wike should know that the protests that have taken Nigerians to the streets were beyond the rogue unit, the brutality is ingrained in the Nigerian police force and has persisted for decades. For Emperor Wike not to understand this fundamental point, belies his shortsightedness and obstinance to embrace the rule of law.

Wike has persistently demonstrated an aversion to Kim Jong-Un’s style of leadership. Recently, the North Korean maximum leader, ordered his country’s citizens to give up their pet dogs to be slaughtered for dinner to assuage the shortage of meat. The maximum ruler warned that failure to comply may mean that both owner and pet may find themselves in hot soup (perhaps literally). Wike’s style mirrors that of Mr. Kim as evident in his sweeping ban and recent COVID-19 lockdown speech, which by all accounts, was one for the books. It was riddled with threats, and delivered with thuggish carriage, underscoring his acute lack of understanding of how the law works.

This lack of understanding came to the fore when he ordered and personally supervised the demolition of two hotels for violating his lockdown orders. Wike did not realize that his actions were illegal, extrajudicial and could not stand in a well-meaning court of law. In a democratic country, such crass actions could not be taken without trial, without any charges and certainly without due process. Wike, no matter his position could not have been empowered legally to pull down those hotels. Not even the president of the republic is so empowered to take such actions on a whim as did the governor.

As a senior lawyer, Wike ought to know that executive orders are not laws, but rather administrative directives that provide guidelines on how to behave in certain situations. There is nothing absolute about executive orders. His actions were dictatorial, heavy-handed and the clear anthithesis of democratic rule. Wike cannot be a democrat, his mentality is thuggish, uncouth and without taste. As Falana, the notable civil rights lawyer noted, “No Constitution allows a Governor to become the maker of a Law, accuser, witness, enforcer of the Law, the prosecutor and the Judge at the same time. It is primitive.”

Rather than banning the youths from exercising their constitutional rights, Wike should learn from his more polished counterpart, the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Sanwo-Olu not only ordered the released of all detainees of the protest, he went further to join the protesters to demand for accountability and civility in the nation’s police force. The Lagos State governor demanded a letter from the protesters so he could travel to Abuja to personally present it to the president.

Additionally, he set up a public fund to compensate the families of those murdered by SARS officers. He tweeted, “I joined the #ENDSARS protesters in Alausa and received a letter of their demands and once again I reiterated my support. I am now on my way to Abuja to meet with H.E Pres.” This is an example of effective leadership. It is not about force, threats and punishment. It is about negotiation, compromise, understanding and empathy. Sadly, these are all words that are missing from Wike’s lexicon. In this atmosphere of Black Lives Matter movement that has gained traction all over the world, Wike remains clueless. He had an opportunity to be an empathetic leader, like Sanwo-Olu, but chose to be an Emperor, a Kim Jong-Un.

-By NewNigerianPolitics (NNP) (Editorial)wp_posts

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Posted by on Oct 14 2020. Filed under Governors, Headlines, Lagos, Nigerian Police, Rivers, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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