Who remembers the song ‘Please Forgive Me’ by Canadian singer song-writer, Bryan Adams? Well, it seems like its theme of saying sorry and seeking forgiveness made a comeback in real life on Saturday, January 13, 2023 at the Omoku country home of former Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bro. Felix Amechi Obuah.
Bro. Obuah, also the former Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), who aspired for governorship of the state in 2023, got an open apology from former Rivers governor and now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Wike said sorry for stopping Obuah’s dream to be governor. It was a bit like the emotions in Bryan Adams’ November 7, 1993 song—admitting mistakes and asking for understanding and forgiveness.
The unexpected reconciliation took place during Obuah’s New Year’s Thanksgiving celebration which Bro. Obuah said was an annual event, organized to celebrate the beginning of every new year with members of the Go-Round political family, relations, friends and associates.
Wike, accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and other dignitaries, seized the opportunity to extend his heartfelt apology to Obuah for preventing him from participating in the Governorship primaries.
Expressing remorse, Wike commended Obuah’s character and acknowledged his significant contribution to his own political success. He acknowledged that, based on support and dedication, Obuah deserved consideration for the gubernatorial race in 2023.
“If we did things based on your contribution or support, Go-Round (Felix Obuah) should be among the first two people I should support,” Wike remarked.
He disclosed that he had not only dissuaded Obuah from running but had also urged him to assume the role of Director General for the campaign.
Wike openly apologized to the people of Ogba, Egbema, and Ndoni, admitting the impact of his decision on them.
He stated, “I want to use this opportunity to apologize to all of you for taking a decision that hurts you. When a leader takes a wrong decision, nothing stops the leader from coming back to accept his mistake.”
Responding to a plea by the Oba of Ogba land for a peaceful resolution of the political crises in the state, Wike emphasized his allegiance to President Bola Tinubu, stating, “There is nothing in this world that would make me disobey Mr. President’s directive. Mr. President has spoken to me, and I will accept whatever he has said.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, in his remarks, lauded Obuah for his strong ties with the community and hailed Wike as the political leader not only of Rivers State but also of the entire South-South region.
Describing Wike’s extensive connections and goodwill across the country, Lokpobiri said, “Apart from the President and Commander in Chief, H.E Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there is no Nigerian today that has the kind of appeal, connection, or support the Minister of the FCT has across the country.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Bro. Obuah expressed firm support and admiration for Wike’s leadership. He conveyed the sentiment of the crowd, emphasizing their collective acknowledgment that the FCT Minister has played a pivotal role in transforming the fortunes of the state.
He stated, “We have no other leader but you who have turned our stories around.”, adding that the event was a tradition observed annually, highlighting the significance of the occasion in welcoming and celebrating their former governor.
Obuah made it clear that the gathering was not intended to criticize or oppose any individual or the government of the state. He asserted, “We are not against anybody. Nobody here has criticized or plotted evil against the government of the state.”
The former PDP Chairman lauded Wike’s decisions, particularly the or, emphasizing, “This man single-handedly nominated our daughter, Prof Ngozi Odu as Deputy Governor, and nobody had gathered to remove or work against her.”
Addressing criticisms faced for bringing Wike to the event, Obuah asserted, “People tried to discredit us for bringing you here, but we said ‘fafafa foul!'”
Obuah highlighted the substantial contributions of Governor Wike to the development of ONELGA, stating, “The truth is there – if there is any man who has loved our people, who has done more than any other governor, it is Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.”
He compared Wike’s accomplishments to those of former governors and cited the endorsement from former governor Peter Odili that “Wike has surpassed everybody’s record, including myself”.
The former PDP Chairman praised Wike’s support for initiatives in ONELGA, mentioning, “Wike singlehandedly supported Odili to build the highest private Medical University in Nigeria.”
Additionally, Obuah highlighted the ongoing development projects, stating, “He is also building one of the biggest business establishments in ONELGA that would soon be commissioned.”
In conclusion, Obuah affirmed his loyalty to Governor Wike and the PDP, declaring, “For all Wike has done for ONELGA, I owe him nothing but absolute loyalty and respect, not 99.9 but 100%! Our party is PDP, and you are our leader. And since we are 100% loyal, any day, anytime you move us, we will follow. We are not APC; we are PDP.”
The event, attended by prominent figures from various political parties, featured goodwill messages from members of the National Assembly, including Senator Barry Mpigi, Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon Chibudum Nwuche, National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party Senator Samuel Anyanwu, and the South-South Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Victor Tombari Giadom.
Snippets From Chief (Barr) Nyesom Wike During Bro. Felix Obuah’s New Year Celebration
- “The Man Felix Obuah is not just a successful man, but a man who has impacted on the lives of so many”.
- “Nobody can bring Felix Obuah down, no matter the meetings they have”.
- “Those plotting against me are plotting against themselves, Go and check history, those who plotted against me what happened to them. You can’t even bring me down, the grace I carry is too big”.
- “You only know a strong and loyal Man in times of challenges. Felix Obuah supported me whole heartedly, even when the Rivers State Government as at then Revoked his properties, he stood by me, supported me and I became governor, Felix Obuah is a man of Character”.
- “There’s nothing I have told Go-Round (Felix Obuah) to do, whether it goes well with him or not, he does not hesitate to do it”.
- “In 2023, if we look at who I should support to Govern Rivers State, Felix Obuah would have been among the top two persons I ought to support. If that Election based on capacity, I know the capacity of Go-Round (Felix Obuah)”.
- “Today, I see those People whom Felix Obuah brought to me, ‘Those Small Small Rats’ he brought them to me, today I see them opening their mouth talking about Felix Obuah. Ordinarily, who is their father? If Obuah had not given them a chance, who would have known them?”