Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is a prominent Nigerian politician and lawyer who has held various positions of leadership in the country. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory 2023. Prior to his ministerial appointment, Wike served as the governor of Rivers State from 2015 to 2023. This article will provide an in-depth look at Wike’s political career, education, notable projects, and reforms he has implemented.
Early Life and Education
Ezenwo Nyesom Wike was born on December 13, 1967. He’s an Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State. He attended Government Secondary School Eneka in Obiakpor, Rivers State for his secondary education. This is where he completed his O’level exams, laying the foundation for his further studies.
After completing his secondary education, Wike enrolled at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT) to pursue his higher education. He pursued a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, which he successfully obtained. Wike attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In addition to his LLB degree, Wike furthered his academic pursuits by obtaining a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Political and Administrative Studies from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT).
Nyesom Wike Political Career
Wike’s political career began in 1999 when he was elected as the Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State. He held this position for two terms until 2007. In 2007, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi. Wike further rose to prominence when he was appointed as the Minister of State Education in July 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan. He later became the Acting Minister of Education before resigning to campaign for the governorship of Rivers State.
Governorship of Rivers State
In 2015, Wike contested in the gubernatorial elections in Rivers State and emerged as the governor, defeating his opponents from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party. He served as the governor of Rivers State for two terms, from 2015 to 2023. During his tenure, Wike initiated several projects and implemented reforms aimed at improving the state’s infrastructure, education, and women’s rights.
One of the significant projects initiated by Wike during his tenure as governor was the construction more than three major flyovers in Port Harcourt. These flyovers, located at Garrison, Rumoukoro, Artillery and others which aimed to alleviate traffic congestion and improve transportation in the city. Additionally, Wike focused on improving the educational sector by declaring public primary and secondary education free in Rivers State. He also introduced free registration for the annual JAMB examination, benefiting students in the state.
Wike has been a proponent of women’s rights and has implemented measures to strengthen their rights, particularly in terms of property inheritance. In 2022, he signed a bill into law that further empowers women to claim their rightful inheritance. This move aimed to address gender inequality and ensure that women are not denied their legal rights.
Presidential Ambition and Appointment as FCT Minister
In March 2022, Wike declared his intention to run for the office of the president of Nigeria under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections. However, he was defeated by Atiku Abubakar in the PDP’s primary election held in May 2022. Following his presidential bid, President Bola Tinubu appointed Wike as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in August 2023.