Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON, born on December 13, 1967, is a distinguished Nigerian politician and lawyer who has held significant public offices. Notably, he assumed the role of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in 2023.
Prior to this, he served as the Governor of Rivers State, a position he held from 2015 to 2023. Wike hails from the Ikwerre ethnic group and is specifically from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State.
He is a prominent member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and received his education at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
Wike’s political journey began with his election as a two-term Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area, a tenure that spanned from 1999 to 2007.
His commitment to public service led to his appointment as the Minister of State for Education on July 14, 2011. Notably, he assumed the role of Acting Minister of Education following the removal of Ruqayyah Ahmed Rufa’i.
However, Wike resigned from this position before completing his term to pursue the governorship of Rivers State, and he was succeeded by Viola Onwuliri.
In 2014, Wike emerged victorious in the Rivers State People’s Democratic Party primary. He selected Ipalibo Banigo, the former Secretary to the State Government, as his running mate for the position of deputy governor.
In the gubernatorial elections held on April 11, 2015, Wike secured a significant win, defeating Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party.
March 2022 marked a significant moment in Wike’s political career as he declared his intention to run for the office of the President of Nigeria under the banner of the People’s Democratic Party in the forthcoming 2023 General election.
However, he faced tough competition and was defeated by Atiku Abubakar, who secured the primaries with 371 votes, while Wike emerged as the first runner-up with 237 votes during the People’s Democratic Party presidential election primary.
This historic event took place at the MKO ABIOLA National Stadium, Abuja, on May 28 and 29, 2022.
In a notable development, President Bola Tinubu appointed Wike as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory on August 16, 2023, following his nomination, successful screening, and approval by the Senate.
This appointment marked a new chapter in Wike’s illustrious political career, as he assumed a pivotal role in the federal government’s administration.
Ezenwo Nyesom Wike’s journey in the Nigerian political landscape continues to be marked by significant milestones, making him a prominent figure in the nation’s governance.
Ezenwo Nyesom Wike’s educational journey laid a strong foundation for his successful career in law and politics. He commenced his schooling at Government Secondary School Eneka in Obiakpor, Rivers State, where he completed his O’level examinations.
Subsequently, he pursued higher education at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT), where he attained a Bachelor of Laws degree.
Eager to further his legal expertise, Wike embarked on the next phase of his academic journey by enrolling in Law School in 1997, a critical step toward becoming a legal practitioner.
His commitment to knowledge and academic growth led him to also obtain a Master of Arts degree in Political and Administrative Studies from RSUT.
Wike’s dedication to education, culminating in his academic achievements, provided him with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in his subsequent career endeavors in the legal and political arenas.
Ezenwo Nyesom Wike’s journey through the intricate world of politics began to unfold in 1999 when he assumed the role of Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State.
His leadership prowess and dedication were evident as he not only successfully held this position but also secured re-election in 2003, demonstrating the trust and confidence the people of the region placed in him.
In 2007, Wike’s political trajectory took an interesting turn when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
This role allowed him to work closely with the state’s leadership, gaining valuable experience in governance and administration.
In a significant development, President Goodluck Jonathan recognized Wike’s capabilities and commitment to public service. In July 2011, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Education, a role that marked a pivotal moment in his political career.
His dedication and contributions to the education sector were instrumental in his subsequent promotion to the position of Federal Minister of Education in September 2013.
However, Wike’s desire to serve his home state, Rivers State, beckoned strongly. In pursuit of this calling, he made the courageous decision to step down from his role as Federal Minister and set his sights on the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Rivers State.
This marked a significant shift in his political journey as he aimed to lead his people as the Governor of Rivers State, a position that would allow him to make a profound impact on the region he holds dear.
Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal – Challenging the Outcome
The political landscape in Rivers State saw a significant twist following the gubernatorial elections held on April 11, 2015. The results declared Nyesom Wike of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner, a decision that sparked controversy and legal proceedings.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) contested the outcome, alleging widespread malpractices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Peterside sought to nullify Wike’s victory and initiated proceedings before the Election Tribunal for Rivers State.
The battle began on May 13, 2015, when the Election Tribunal commenced its hearing on the matter in Abuja. Peterside’s argument was rooted in the belief that the elections were marred by irregularities and should be overturned.
Wike’s objection to the hearing’s location further fueled the controversy. He argued that the tribunal should be held in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, citing concerns about security.
However, Justice Zainab Bulkachawa, the President of the Court of Appeal at the time, rejected this request and ordered that the tribunal take place in Abuja.
This decision also extended to election petition tribunals for Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, all of which would also be held in the Nigerian capital for security reasons.
A notable development in this legal battle was Wike’s repeated evasion of court summons and other legal processes.
His refusal to accept court documents prompted the presiding Justice Muazu Pindiga to grant an order for substituted service.
Under this order, court processes were to be posted on the walls of Wike’s residence or at the offices of the PDP secretariat in Rivers State or Abuja.
Ultimately, on October 24, 2015, the Rivers State governorship election tribunal nullified Wike’s election, citing the need for a gubernatorial election rerun within 90 days from the date of judgment.
Wike expressed his intention to appeal this ruling, marking a new phase in the legal battle.
One of the central issues in the election tribunal’s proceedings revolved around the accredited votes awarded to Wike by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The controversy stemmed from the significant disparity between the officially declared votes and the actual number of accredited voters as per INEC records.
The result announced by INEC indicated that Wike had secured a staggering 1,029,102 votes, representing an overwhelming 87.77 percent of the conjured number of total accredited voters, which was reported as 1,228,614.
However, an INEC document presented as evidence during the tribunal painted a starkly different picture.
According to this document, the total number of accredited voters in Rivers State was only 292,878. This inconsistency raised concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the election results.
It was widely acknowledged that the gubernatorial election in Rivers State faced challenges, including widespread malfunctions of card readers on the election day.
These issues prompted the extension of the election to the next day and the use of manual accreditation in the absence of functioning card readers.
However, the INEC’s central server recorded all validated and authenticated votes for the Rivers State elections on April 11, 2015. This technological safeguard made fraudulent manual accreditation impossible.
Despite these discrepancies, it is important to note that the Court of Appeal had previously ruled that the non-use of card readers should not serve as grounds for nullifying an election.
Nevertheless, the election tribunal’s decision to nullify Wike’s victory and call for a rerun election within 90 days generated considerable controversy and debate, with some questioning the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.
2019 Gubernatorial Re-election – A Renewed Mandate
In a twist of fate, Nyesom Wike’s political journey saw a triumphant return to power in 2019.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him the winner of the Rivers State governorship polls on April 3, 2019, after temporarily suspending the process.
Wike took his oath of office on May 29, 2019, commencing his second term as the Governor of Rivers State.
In his inauguration address at Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, he pledged to prioritize the interests and well-being of the people of Rivers State.
In May 2022, Nyesom Wike set his sights on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket but faced defeat, with Atiku Abubakar emerging as the party’s presidential candidate.
Wike also lent his support to Sim Fubara, the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate in Rivers State, marking his continued involvement and influence in Nigerian politics.
Ministerial Nomination by President Tinubu
Nyesom Wike’s Selection
In a significant political development on July 27, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu unveiled his list of ministerial nominees, comprising twenty-seven individuals, to the 10th Nigerian Senate. Among these nominees was Nyesom Wike, a prominent figure in Nigerian politics.
The nomination sent ripples through the political landscape, as Wike’s name emerged as a contender for a ministerial position in President Tinubu’s cabinet.
This decision underscored the President’s commitment to assembling a diverse and capable team to steer the nation forward.
On July 31, 2023, Nyesom Wike faced the Senate for his screening, a pivotal step in the confirmation process.
During the proceedings, Wike delivered a compelling declaration, expressing his unwavering dedication to serving the nation in this new capacity.
He emphasized his belief that President Tinubu’s decision to nominate him as a minister would be met with success and contributions to the nation’s growth and development.
As the Senate conducted its rigorous screening process, Wike’s nomination stirred anticipation about the role he might play in shaping the future of Nigeria under the leadership of President Tinubu.
His confidence and commitment to the responsibilities ahead left a notable impression on the Senate and the nation as a whole.
Reforms and Initiatives by Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike, during his tenure as the governor of Rivers State, initiated several significant reforms and projects aimed at enhancing the well-being of the state’s residents and promoting development.
Here, we delve into some of these notable reforms and projects:
One of the cornerstone reforms under Governor Wike’s administration was the declaration of free public primary and secondary education.
This landmark decision, announced on June 24, 2019, during a government house meeting in Port Harcourt, aimed to provide accessible education to the youth of Rivers State.
While met with both praise and criticism, parents, former principals, and headmasters eventually came to appreciate the government’s commitment to this initiative, leading to its successful implementation.
Furthermore, in 2019, Governor Wike’s government, through the State Ministry of Education, introduced free registration for local students participating in the annual Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination.
This move alleviated the financial burden on aspiring tertiary education students and increased their access to higher education opportunities.
Advancing Women’s Rights
In 2022, Governor Wike signed into law a significant measure aimed at bolstering women’s rights, particularly their right to inherit property.
With this legal framework in place, women were empowered to assert their rightful claims to property without fear, knowing that it was now their legal entitlement.
Governor Wike’s administration encouraged women to assertively exercise their rights, marking a significant step toward gender equality and women’s empowerment in Rivers State.
During his second term as governor, Nyesom Wike’s administration embarked on a massive infrastructure development project by simultaneously commencing the construction of three major flyovers in Port Harcourt.
These flyovers were strategically located at Garrison, Rumoukoro, and Artillery, addressing critical transportation needs and enhancing connectivity within the city.
This ambitious infrastructure initiative aimed to reduce traffic congestion, improve overall transportation efficiency, and further drive the state’s economic growth.
Governor Wike’s commitment to these reforms and projects reflected his dedication to fostering positive change and development in Rivers State, leaving a lasting impact on the state’s educational system, women’s rights, and infrastructure landscape.
Nyesom Wike’s family is a close-knit unit, led by his beloved wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike. Together, they share their lives and have raised a wonderful family that includes three charming children—Jazmyne, Joaquin, and Jordan.
As a loving husband and father, Nyesom Wike has balanced his political career and public service with his responsibilities as a devoted family man.
His commitment to both his family and his duty as the governor of Rivers State reflects his dedication to serving not only his constituents but also those closest to him.
The Wike family stands as a symbol of unity, strength, and love, setting an example of how public figures can maintain a harmonious and supportive family life while contributing to the betterment of their community and society as a whole.
Mrs. Nlemanya Wike is the revered mother of Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State.
While details about her life remain relatively private, she is an integral part of the Wike family.
She is married to Reverend Nlemanya Wike, and together, they have been a source of guidance and support for their son throughout his life journey.
Reverend Nlemanya Wike, a clergyman, is the esteemed father of Nyesom Wike.
Despite the challenges and turbulence that have occasionally surrounded his ministry, he remains a steadfast and influential figure in the family.
His unwavering presence has undoubtedly contributed to Nyesom Wike’s character and values.
Regrettably, specific details about Governor Nyesom Wike’s siblings are not readily available in the public domain.
The Wike family keeps a low profile when it comes to their private lives, respecting their privacy and allowing them to maintain a level of anonymity.
Eberechi Suzzette Wike, born on May 24, 1972, serves as a judge in the Rivers State High Court of Justice. She has held the esteemed position of First Lady of Rivers State since May 29, 2015, and she is the beloved wife of Governor Ezenwo Wike.
Eberechi, who was originally named Eberechi Suzzette Obuzor, hails from Odiokwu in Ahoada West, Rivers State. She is a devout Christian, and her parents are Dr. and Mrs. Obuzor.
Eberechi Suzzette Wike pursued her educational journey with determination, earning her LL.B. (Hons) from Rivers State University of Science and Technology in 1996.
Her academic excellence paved the way for further studies, and she successfully gained admission to law school. In 1997, she received her Bachelor of Laws (B.L.), officially becoming a lawyer.
Her legal career took root in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where she began practicing law.
Notably, Eberechi Wike was awarded a prestigious Chevening Scholarship in the United Kingdom (U.K.), underscoring her commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.
Her pursuit of knowledge led her to attain an LL.M. in Law from the University of Sussex.
Nyesom Wike and his wife, Eberechi Wike, are blessed with three children: Jordan, Joaquin, and Jazmyne.
Although the Governor and his wife maintain a deliberate level of privacy regarding their children, it is evident that family remains a cornerstone of their lives.
The couple’s dedication to safeguarding their children’s privacy allows them to grow and thrive outside the public’s constant gaze.
Governor Nyesom Wike belongs to the Ikwerre tribe, an integral part of the Igbo subgroups in Rivers State, Nigeria.
The Ikwerre people, also known as Iwhuruha in their native language, hold a significant position among the Igbo ethnic groups in the region.
They, along with the Ngwa, constitute the largest Igbo group in this diverse area.
The Ikwerre tribe is characterized by its rich cultural heritage and has a history that spans generations. Traditionally, the Ikwerre people are organized into seven distinct groups known as “Ikwerre Essa.” These groups include Elele, Isiokpo, Umuji, Emohua, Choba, Aluu Igwuruta, and Obio. Each of these groups contributes to the vibrant tapestry of Ikwerre culture, with its unique traditions and customs.
In an ethnographic study of the Igbo-speaking communities in South Eastern Nigeria conducted by Forde and Jones, the Ikwerre people’s unique identity and contributions to the larger Igbo culture were recognized and acknowledged.
Their distinctiveness within the Igbo cultural landscape is a testament to their enduring heritage.
One significant aspect of Ikwerre land is its substantial contribution to Nigeria’s oil production. With a total of 92 oil wells, this region plays a pivotal role in the country’s energy sector.
It is estimated that Ikwerre land contributes approximately 100,000 barrels of crude oil daily, underscoring its importance in Nigeria’s economic landscape.
Governor Nyesom Wike’s affiliation with the Ikwerre tribe reflects his deep connection to the culture, history, and traditions of this remarkable ethnic group.
It is within this context that he continues to serve and lead the people of Rivers State, upholding the values and heritage of the Ikwerre tribe.
Nyesom Wike, the prominent Nigerian politician and attorney, is widely recognized as one of the wealthiest and most influential governors in the country.
His estimated net worth stands at an impressive $600 million, solidifying his position as the second-richest governor in Nigeria.
When it comes to his real estate holdings, Governor Wike showcases his discerning taste and penchant for luxury living.
His stunning residence on Ada George Road in Port Harcourt stands as a testament to his affluence.
This magnificent property, valued at millions of naira, exemplifies his commitment to a lifestyle of opulence and comfort.
In addition to his opulent real estate investments, Nyesom Wike boasts an impressive collection of automobiles, reflecting his penchant for high-end vehicles. Among his prized possessions are:
>> Bulletproof Range Rover Autobiography
>> Bulletproof 2019 Toyota Highlander
>> Lexus LX570
>> Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
>> Five Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs
>> Three Toyota Hilux trucks
These luxurious vehicles not only serve as a symbol of his status and success but also provide him with the means to navigate his political and personal endeavors with style and efficiency.
In summary, Nyesom Wike’s substantial net worth, exquisite properties, and a fleet of luxury cars all contribute to his image as a prominent and prosperous figure in Nigerian politics and society.
His financial success and opulent lifestyle reflect his influential position as a governor in the nation.