Wike’s head got too big for his pillow; he should be concerned about crisis in education— OKOCHA
By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—There was a war of words between the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike and the Chief of Staff to Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Tony Okocha, when the minister said the office of Chief of Staff died with his exit.
It will be recalled that Wike was the former Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in the first tenure.
Wike, who spoke at his Port Harcourt residence, said when he was Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi, he managed the office effectively, adding that it was why the governor neither had issues with the presidency nor dump the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He said: “The office of the Chief of Staff, Government House, died when I left office in 2011. That office properly coordinated government activities when I was there.
“Government had a direction. Governor Amaechi would not have had all these problems if I was Chief of Staff.
“That is not to say that there were no problems. But I made sure we approached them pragmatically, taking into consideration the feelings of stakeholders.
“The office of the Chief of Staff is very crucial to the success of the governor. Governor Amaechi could not have made very costly political mistakes like decamping to All Progressives Congress, APC, when I was Chief of Staff.”
Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Okocha, dismissed the statement, saying that the minister probably meant that indiscipline ended with his (Wike) exit as Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said: “Wike probably meant that corruption died when he left the office. I am sure he meant criminal acquisition died when he left the office.
“Indiscipline and insubordination to his boss, the governor, died when he left the office of the Chief of Staff. His head was bigger than his pillow because he was not loyal to the governor.
“Wike is not in a position to assess my performance as Chief of Staff. My principal is Governor Amaechi. I am responsible to the governor and not Wike.
“I am implicitly loyal to my principal, Governor Amaechi. I am not perturbed by Wike’s outbursts. I expected Wike to be concerned with the falling standard of education. He should be perturbed about the worsening crisis in the polytechnics.”