How Jonathan’ His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers: An In-Depth Analysis

How Jonathan' His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers: An In-Depth Analysis
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How Jonathan’ His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers – The political dynamics of Nigeria are often as fascinating as they are complex. One event that stands out in recent history is the rise of Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State. Former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience Jonathan, and other political figures played pivotal roles in this process. Elder statesman Edwin Clark has been vocal about how this political maneuvering unfolded. To understand this event thoroughly, we need to delve into the political context, the key players involved, and their motivations.

The Political Landscape of Rivers State

Rivers State, located in the oil-rich Niger Delta, is one of Nigeria’s most economically significant states. Its wealth from vast oil reserves makes it a critical battleground for political control. Consequently, whoever governs Rivers State wields significant economic and political power. This context sets the stage for understanding why the political machinations around Nyesom Wike’s emergence were so intense.

Who Is Nyesom Wike?

Before exploring the political strategies that led to his rise, it’s essential to understand who Nyesom Wike is. Born on December 13, 1967, Wike is a trained lawyer and a seasoned politician. His political journey includes serving as the Minister of State for Education under President Goodluck Jonathan. Wike is known for his strategic political moves and his ability to navigate complex political landscapes.

Goodluck Jonathan’s Influence

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s President from 2010 to 2015, was a significant force in Wike’s political ascension. During his presidency, Jonathan focused on consolidating power within his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Part of this strategy involved placing loyalists in key political positions across the country, ensuring his influence even beyond his tenure.

Patience Jonathan’s Role

Patience Jonathan, the former First Lady, wielded substantial influence, particularly in the Niger Delta region. Known for her assertive political style, she had significant sway in Rivers State politics. Her involvement was crucial in mobilizing support for Wike and ensuring that loyalists occupied critical positions.

The Emergence of Nyesom Wike

Wike’s path to becoming the governor was neither straightforward nor guaranteed. He faced considerable opposition from various factions within the PDP and from political rivals. His emergence as a formidable contender was a result of careful planning and strategic alliances.

Edwin Clark’s Allegations

Edwin Clark, a prominent Ijaw leader and elder statesman, has been vocal about the political maneuvering that led to Wike’s rise. According to Clark, Jonathan and his wife, along with other political figures, orchestrated Wike’s emergence. Clark’s statements provide a window into the behind-the-scenes activities that shaped this political outcome.

The Battle with Rotimi Amaechi

A significant part of Wike’s story involves his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi. Amaechi, once a member of the PDP, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to internal party conflicts. His defection was a blow to the PDP and a challenge to Jonathan’s influence. Installing Wike as governor was seen as a strategy to counter Amaechi’s political power and reassert PDP control.

The Role of Other Political Actors

Several other political figures played roles in Wike’s rise. Local political leaders, business magnates, and traditional rulers each had their reasons for supporting him. Their motivations ranged from personal gain to political loyalty, and their involvement was crucial in the overall strategy.

The 2015 Governorship ElectionThe 2015 governorship election in Rivers State was one of the most contentious in Nigeria’s history. The stakes were incredibly high, and the election was marred by allegations of violence and irregularities. Wike’s candidacy, backed by the Jonathans and other influential figures, faced fierce resistance from the APC and its supporters.

Campaign Strategies and Mobilization

Wike’s campaign was marked by a multifaceted strategy. Grassroots mobilization, strategic alliances, and a robust media presence were key components. He leveraged his tenure as Minister of State for Education, highlighting his achievements and promising further development for Rivers State.

Ethnic and Religious Dynamics

Ethnicity and religion play significant roles in Nigerian politics. Rivers State, with its diverse ethnic composition, is a microcosm of Nigeria’s broader ethnic dynamics. Wike, an Ikwerre man, capitalized on ethnic solidarity to garner support. Additionally, religious leaders were courted to ensure a broad base of support.

Controversies and Allegations

Wike’s rise was not without controversy. Allegations of electoral malpractices, violence, and intimidation marred the election. Both the PDP and APC accused each other of wrongdoing, with each side claiming to be the rightful winner. These controversies underscored the deep-seated issues within Nigeria’s electoral system.

Post-Election Challenges

Following his victory, Wike faced numerous challenges. These included governance issues, economic pressures, and ongoing political opposition. Despite these obstacles, he managed to consolidate his position and initiate various development projects.

Wike’s Governance Style

Wike’s governance style has been described as assertive and often confrontational. He has not shied away from challenging political opponents or making bold decisions. His tenure has seen significant infrastructural developments, but it has also been marked by accusations of authoritarianism.

Impact on Rivers State

Wike’s governorship has had a profound impact on Rivers State. On the positive side, there have been notable infrastructural improvements and efforts to enhance public services. On the negative side, political tensions have persisted, and allegations of corruption have continued to surface.

The Legacy of the JonathansThe role of Goodluck Jonathan and his wife in Wike’s rise has left a lasting legacy. Their actions highlighted the significant influence of political patronage in Nigeria. Additionally, their involvement underscored the interconnectedness of personal relationships and political power.

Broader Implications for Nigerian Politics

The events in Rivers State reflect broader trends in Nigerian politics. The imposition of candidates by influential figures is not unique to Rivers State. This practice is common across Nigeria and often leads to political tensions and conflicts. It raises questions about the nature of democracy in Nigeria and whether the will of the people is truly represented.

The Role of Money in Politics

One cannot discuss Nigerian politics without addressing the role of money. The 2015 Rivers State governorship election exemplified how financial resources can shape political outcomes. Both the PDP and APC invested heavily in the election, using money to mobilize support and influence key stakeholders.

Judicial Involvement

The judiciary played a significant role in the aftermath of the 2015 election. Numerous legal challenges were filed, questioning the validity of the election results. The judiciary’s decisions were critical in determining the final outcome, highlighting the importance of an independent and robust judicial system.

Influence of Traditional Institutions

Traditional institutions and leaders continue to wield significant influence in Nigerian politics. In Rivers State, traditional rulers played roles in mobilizing support for Wike. Their involvement underscored the complex interplay between modern political structures and traditional authority.

Civil Society’s Role – How Jonathan’ His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers

Civil society organizations (CSOs) were active during the 2015 election. They monitored the electoral process, reported irregularities, and advocated for free and fair elections. Their efforts contributed to increased transparency and accountability, although challenges remained.

Media Influence

The media played a crucial role in shaping public perception during the election. Both traditional and social media were used to disseminate information, influence opinions, and mobilize support. The media’s role in Nigerian politics is significant, acting as both a tool for political actors and a platform for public discourse.

Lessons Learned – How Jonathan’ His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers

The events surrounding Wike’s rise to power offer several lessons. They highlight the importance of strategic political alliances and the significant role of financial resources in elections. Additionally, they reveal the complexities and challenges of Nigeria’s democratic process.

Future Prospects for Rivers State

Looking ahead, the future of Rivers State remains uncertain. While Wike has made significant strides in development, political tensions persist. The state’s political landscape is likely to continue evolving, influenced by both internal dynamics and broader national trends.

Youth Involvement – How Jonathan’ His Wife and Others Forced Wike on Rivers

The youth population in Rivers State, as in the rest of Nigeria, is significant. Young people played crucial roles in the 2015 election, both as voters and as political actors. Their engagement is vital for the future of the state’s democracy.

Need for Electoral Reforms

The controversies surrounding the 2015 election highlight the need for electoral reforms. Ensuring free, fair, and credible elections is essential for the health of Nigeria’s democracy. Reforms should address issues such as electoral violence, vote-buying, and the independence of electoral bodies.

Governance and Development

Wike’s tenure has demonstrated the critical link between governance and development. Effective governance can lead to significant improvements in infrastructure and public services. Conversely, poor governance can hinder development and exacerbate social tensions.

International Involvement

International actors also have a stake in Nigeria’s political process. During the 2015 election, various international organizations and foreign governments monitored the electoral process. Their involvement underscored the global importance of Nigeria’s political stability and democratic development.


The imposition of Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State, orchestrated by Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, and other actors, is a significant event in Nigerian politics. It highlights the complexities of political power, the influence of key individuals, and the challenges of democracy in Nigeria. As we reflect on these events, it is crucial to consider the broader implications for Nigeria’s political future and the ongoing efforts to strengthen democratic governance.

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