Opinion | Reno’s Soprano: A Conversation on Atiku’s Hired Media Hands

By George Kerley

Atiku Abubakar (L) with his hired media hand, Reno Omokri (R).

I expected Reno Omokri to stay off Wike’s politics but I was wrong. Having seen the manner in which Reno and the other hired media hands of Atiku Abubakar have insulted and undermined Peter Obi, (who only a few years ago was Vice Presidential nominee of their benefactor), there is really nothing you cannot expect from these people.

The fact that Atiku’s men can attack and ridicule Peter Obi the way they have done in the past few months, should bring our mind back to the years when the rented media aides of Vice President Atiku, exhibiting unbelievable measures of professional immaturity and a total lack of emotional intelligence, launched a relentless and merciless media attack on President Obasanjo even while Atiku was still operating from his office as Vice President right inside the Presidential Villa.

It was the first time in the democratic history of the Nigerian Presidency that aides of a serving Vice President ever came together to dishonor a serving President. I think it was the last time too.

Methinks that the behaviour and character of Atiku’s hired media hands in those days remains a key reason why Obasanjo has found it difficult to completely forgive and forget for the turbulence that Atiku brought to his eight years in power.

Until this day, Obasanjo continues to believe that the choice of Atiku was a mistake he should never have made.

Reno started his soprano with a talk on reasonable men. A reasonable man should not go out insulting the political opponents of his principal because they do not agree with him. After all, this is all politics.

A reasonable man knows that elections are not conducted on Twitter.

A reasonable man is expected to know how to pick his fights. Every member of the Integrity Group G-5 is an elected Governor of the People’s Democratic Party who have in time past, faithfully picked his fights and won most.

That’s how they became Governors and Landlords of the massive electoral real estates that they govern today.

Men who are incapable of reason cannot go that far. So I doubt they would have any need for Reno’s urgings.

These G-5 politicians know what to do. They understand that politics is a game of interest. They understand the larger interest because they are long distance political players. They understand the nature of the political marathon they have begun. They are not given to silly admonitions, much less one from a hired media hand of a Presidential Aspirant that they do not believe in.

I may never be able to understand the true purpose of Reno’s treatise but I am sure that Reno knows that since 1999, Nyesom Wike has been a dedicated, deliberate and disciplined infantry soldier of the people’s democratic party in Rivers State and Nigeria.

From two successful consecutive terms as one of the best local government chairmen in Nigeria to a four year stint as Chief of Staff to the Governor where he also doubled as Director General of the Rotimi Amaechi Campaign, up to stints as Minister of State and Supervisory Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike has never been a backseat participant in any politics. The energy he brings to any table is just too massive to be kept idle.

That energy is what is responsible for where Nyesom Wike is today.

So I wonder why anyone, if not for any other reason but sordid mischief, would want to ask anyone whether they have been seeing Dame Patience Jonathan hanging around with Nyesom Wike as though she were his wife, or Deputy Governor of Rivers State, two of the most usual people that Rivers people see around their Governor.

Except maybe Reno is privy to information that Dame Patience Faka Jonathan is supposed to have Official and Residential Accomodation in Rivers State Government House Port Harcourt.

Reno also asked his readers how many times they have seen Governor Wike with former President Jonathan. Again, this sounded mischievous.

Did Reno Omokri expect a former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a Global Democracy Ambassador to spend his retirement days in the confines of the Rivers State Government House? Far away from his global assignments on Democracy Enhancement, Election Monitoring, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building?

I doubt Reno Omokri even knows the true nature and character of the man called Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, a man known to be deeply private, intensely calculating and large spirited.

For someone who says he worked for Atiku for many years before coming to work with Goodluck Jonathan as special assistant on new media, Reno should know better.

I doubt Reno knows that in May 2017, about seven months before Atiku Abubakar returned to PDP in December 2017, the Rivers State Government conferred on Former President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, the Award of Grand Service Star of Rivers State during the State’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary.

President Jonathan was also the Special Guest of Honour at the Golden Jubilee Anniversary Lecture which was held on Wednesday, 24th May.

A week earlier, on May 18th, President Jonathan was the Special Guest at the Commissioning of the Second Nkpogu Bridge in Port Harcourt.

I doubt Reno was aware that in September 2018, The Rivers State owned Ignatius Ajuru University of Education conferred the ICON of Democracy Award on President Jonathan.

In that same programme, the State Governor, and the university named the new Automated University Library after Dame (Mrs) Patience Jonathan.

It therefore amounts to incredible mischief and baseline charlatanism for anyone, especially a follower of Atiku Abubakar say that Wike does not maintain relationships with his ‘benefactors’ and then attempt to sneakily include a name such as Rotimi Amaechi into any sane conversation on relationships, loyalty and respect especially with respect to the First Family, who Wike holds in great respect and whose honor, Wike has continued to protect.

Nyesom Wike has always been driven by strong loyalty to his party and responsible leadership. That has never been without question.

When Rotimi Amaechi and his goons decided to undermine a sitting president and the People’s Democratic Party, Nyesom Wike stood up for the party in the State and across the country.

It was on the strength of that act of patriotism that the leadership of the party in the state fell on his lap and provided the opportunity that he leveraged and became frontrunner for the seat of the Governor of Rivers State.

Some of these media aides are really interesting people. They accuse Nyesom Wike of fighting because he is angry. They say he is angry that he lost the PDP presidential primary in a free and fair election.

Unfortunately for them, they do not see that this is all just politics. Afterall, Atiku too walked out of a 2011 PDP presidential primaries after attributing his loss to former President Jonathan (2736 votes/805 votes) to the lack of a level playing ground.

Most of them forget that since 2018, Nyesom Wike, a dedicated PDP party man has always noted the fact that it did not augur well with him to support a flip-flop party man as Presidential candidate of the PDP.

Atiku’s men should please allow Nyesom Wike be.

George Kerley writes from Port Harcourt.