Churlish Attack on Wike: X-Raying Ray Morphy, By Louis Achi

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Mr. Ray Morphy, veteran media practitioner and former Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, on Strategy and National Contact, recently morphed into an unseemly mercenary sniper targeting Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. Indeed it is debatable how well the dubious role of an out-of-job ‘attack dog’ fits the nimble Cross Riverian. But he certainly took on the wrong quarry.

Morphy brings a rather quaint approach to what is traditionally a brutal job – destruction of targets without qualms. In his clearly offensive piece titled “Garrulous Wike And His Presidency Mirage!” he concedes, “I have nothing personal against Nyesom Wike, indeed I knew him personally before he became governor.”

Having curiously confessed an old-time familiarity with his target, he warms up to his apparently sponsored demolition job. Hear him: “The world is brimming with ambitious political leaders, but sadly very few matches up to the traits required or expected of good leaders. At this time in our national history, cool heads are needed, not hot heads; consensus builders are required, not bumbling wannabe dictators.”

According to him, “The governor of River State Nyesom Wike who incidentally wants to be president is yet to learn how to relate with those who disagree with him in politics. Even though he deserves credit for his infrastructural development of Rivers State, he is yet to learn the fine art of statesmanship. He makes politics seem a constant war between him and his numerous opponents.”

Then Morphy goes on to do a secretarial job of listing governors and politicians he alleged Governor Wike had disagreed with or confronted in recent times. In all these contrived trajectory, Morphy shortly arrived at his destination – that Governor Wike’s presidential aspiration is a mirage! Haba!

It is not in doubt that today a customary political frenzy has seized nation’s political space ahead of the 2023 elections. This is the period political hirelings suffuse the field, peddling misinformation and hate. Worse, many of these skulking snipers do it to support their ‘stomach infrastructure.’ There is absolutely no principle here.

But then, intellectual honesty demands that those who label themselves as such ought to carry the depth that comes with both the field and such tags or risk being trashed by history. Today, Nigeria as a nation is a damaged entity, terribly divided with its economy in tatters and very unsafe, yet Morphy is unable to interrogate the leadership that presently dots such incompetence. I had thought that Morphy, a member of the ruling APC would derive intellectual Courage to dissect the misgovernance of a party and president that have both crippled the country.

The leadership models proposed by Morphy simply cannot work at this unfortunate period of the nation’s history. To avoid breakup and incipient national disaster, Nigeria needs a strong, firm and principled leader to change the extant narrative. In which country on this planet will a commander-in-chief give a specific directive to subordinate operatives and they will return casually with stories instead of results. That Morphy acknowledges Wike’s infrastructural achievements is a testament to the latter’s sense of industry, resourcefulness and vision.

Governor Wike who has significantly unsettled many since his declaration to contest in the upcoming presidential election is not a personality to be trifled with. He has clearly demonstrated that a powerful vision pulls in ideas, people and other resources. It creates the momentum and will to make change happen. It inspires individuals, complementary organizations and institutions to commit, to persist and to give their best. Navigating with this enduring philosophy, unassuming Governor Nyesom Wike has demonstrated impeccable professionalism, discipline and persistence to change his life’s trajectory and impact his milieu in diverse arenas positively.

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A personality who has envisioned a new direction for his state, Governor Wike’s governance story tacitly acknowledges the capacity of highly focused individuals to change their society for the better. Governor Wike’s seeking of higher political responsibility – the presidency in this case – certainly is not a mirage by any metrics, except in Morphy’s head. Today, Nigeria does not need wafflers or wimps. She needs Turkey’s Ataturk, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Indonesia’s Suharto and other firm visionary leaders of recent history.

One of what Morphy felt was an example of Governor Wike’s alleged ‘quarrelsomness’ was his tiff with Governor Obaseki of Edo State. According to dodgy Morphy, “When Wike is not fighting people in his state, he is fighting his fellow governors. He has accused Godwin Obaseki, his Edo State counterpart, of “serial betrayal”. Obaseki and Wike are both governors on the platform of the PDP. While speaking at an event in Port Harcourt recently, Wike tongue-lashed Philip Shaibu, Edo deputy governor, for daring to threaten the PDP. Shaibu had appeared on a Channels Television programme where he said he and Obaseki may leave the PDP if the party continues to treat them as outcasts.”

Perhaps Morphy does no realize that Governor Obaseki owes his second gubernatorial term largely to the intervention and sacrifice of strong personalities like Governor Wike who led the fight for Obasekui’s reelection frontally. What is wrong with calling out ingratitude and “serial betrayers.” No African culture supports insincerity and betrayal.

When Wike disagrees with anybody, it is usually grounded on principle and not sentiments. He leaves no space for one to be unsure of where he stands on keys issues and gives consistent expression to this. This is certainly not garrulity.

Philosopher and pioneer in the field of organizational theory and organizational behaviour Mary Parker Follett gently reminds us that, “It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned.”

According to renowned Austrian-American management sage Peter Drucker, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” As it were, in a period of disruption, states or nations live or die by their ability to envision new order. This is Wike’s forte.

It was Winston Churchill, the British war leader who noted that, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.” Governor Wike has demonstrated this leadership trait throughout his governance trajectory and has come to be defined by it. This certainly the trait the next Nigerian president needs.

The Morphys of this world should know and accept that they cannot cage or divert the emergent leaders a new Nigeria badly needs.

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ENDS Ben Ayade of Cross River State, on Strategy and National Contact, recently morphed into an unseemly mercenary sniper targeting Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. Indeed it is debatable how well the dubious role of an out-of-job ‘attack dog’ fits the nimble Cross Riverian. But he certainly took on the wrong quarry.

Morphy brings a rather quaint approach to what is traditionally a brutal job – destruction of targets without qualms. In his clearly offensive piece titled “Garrulous Wike And His Presidency Mirage!” he concedes, “I have nothing personal against Nyesom Wike, indeed I knew him personally before he became governor.”

Having curiously confessed an old-time familiarity with his target, he warms up to his apparently sponsored demolition job. Hear him: “The world is brimming with ambitious political leaders, but sadly very few matches up to the traits required or expected of good leaders. At this time in our national history, cool heads are needed, not hot heads; consensus builders are required, not bumbling wannabe dictators.”

According to him, “The governor of River State Nyesom Wike who incidentally wants to be president is yet to learn how to relate with those who disagree with him in politics. Even though he deserves credit for his infrastructural development of Rivers State, he is yet to learn the fine art of statesmanship. He makes politics seem a constant war between him and his numerous opponents.”

Then Morphy goes on to do a secretarial job of listing governors and politicians he alleged Governor Wike had disagreed with or confronted in recent times. In all these contrived trajectory, Morphy shortly arrived at his destination – that Governor Wike’s presidential aspiration is a mirage! Haba!

It is not in doubt that today a customary political frenzy has seized nation’s political space ahead of the 2023 elections. This is the period political hirelings suffuse the field, peddling misinformation and hate. Worse, many of these skulking snipers do it to support their ‘stomach infrastructure.’ There is absolutely no principle here.

But then, intellectual honesty demands that those who label themselves as such ought to carry the depth that comes with both the field and such tags or risk being trashed by history. Today, Nigeria as a nation is a damaged entity, terribly divided with its economy in tatters and very unsafe, yet Morphy is unable to interrogate the leadership that presently dots such incompetence. I had thought that Morphy, a member of the ruling APC would derive intellectual Courage to dissect the misgovernance of a party and president that have both crippled the country.

The leadership models proposed by Morphy simply cannot work at this unfortunate period of the nation’s history. To avoid breakup and incipient national disaster, Nigeria needs a strong, firm and principled leader to change the extant narrative. In which country on this planet will a commander-in-chief give a specific directive to subordinate operatives and they will return casually with stories instead of results. That Morphy acknowledges Wike’s infrastructural achievements is a testament to the latter’s sense of industry, resourcefulness and vision.

Governor Wike who has significantly unsettled many since his declaration to contest in the upcoming presidential election is not a personality to be trifled with. He has clearly demonstrated that a powerful vision pulls in ideas, people and other resources. It creates the momentum and will to make change happen. It inspires individuals, complementary organizations and institutions to commit, to persist and to give their best. Navigating with this enduring philosophy, unassuming Governor Nyesom Wike has demonstrated impeccable professionalism, discipline and persistence to change his life’s trajectory and impact his milieu in diverse arenas positively.

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A personality who has envisioned a new direction for his state, Governor Wike’s governance story tacitly acknowledges the capacity of highly focused individuals to change their society for the better. Governor Wike’s seeking of higher political responsibility – the presidency in this case – certainly is not a mirage by any metrics, except in Morphy’s head. Today, Nigeria does not need wafflers or wimps. She needs Turkey’s Ataturk, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Indonesia’s Suharto and other firm visionary leaders of recent history.

One of what Morphy felt was an example of Governor Wike’s alleged ‘quarrelsomness’ was his tiff with Governor Obaseki of Edo State. According to dodgy Morphy, “When Wike is not fighting people in his state, he is fighting his fellow governors. He has accused Godwin Obaseki, his Edo State counterpart, of “serial betrayal”. Obaseki and Wike are both governors on the platform of the PDP. While speaking at an event in Port Harcourt recently, Wike tongue-lashed Philip Shaibu, Edo deputy governor, for daring to threaten the PDP. Shaibu had appeared on a Channels Television programme where he said he and Obaseki may leave the PDP if the party continues to treat them as outcasts.”

Perhaps Morphy does no realize that Governor Obaseki owes his second gubernatorial term largely to the intervention and sacrifice of strong personalities like Governor Wike who led the fight for Obasekui’s reelection frontally. What is wrong with calling out ingratitude and “serial betrayers.” No African culture supports insincerity and betrayal.

When Wike disagrees with anybody, it is usually grounded on principle and not sentiments. He leaves no space for one to be unsure of where he stands on keys issues and gives consistent expression to this. This is certainly not garrulity.

Philosopher and pioneer in the field of organizational theory and organizational behaviour Mary Parker Follett gently reminds us that, “It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned.”

According to renowned Austrian-American management sage Peter Drucker, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” As it were, in a period of disruption, states or nations live or die by their ability to envision new order. This is Wike’s forte.

It was Winston Churchill, the British war leader who noted that, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.” Governor Wike has demonstrated this leadership trait throughout his governance trajectory and has come to be defined by it. This certainly the trait the next Nigerian president needs.

The Ray Morphys of this world should know and accept that they cannot cage or divert the emergent leaders a new Nigeria badly needs.




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