The recent show of shame which occurred in Port Harcourt when security operatives attached to the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike and those attached to the Minister of Transportation and the former governor of the State, Rt.Hon Rotimi Amaechi, almost had a shoot out when the convoys of both men clashed on an high way in the city, has only further revealed the character and caliber of politicians holding public office in Nigeria. I title this piece Tom and Jerry after the cartoon television series which was popular among young children in this country in the 90’s. It is a tale of a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) who are constantly at war with each other over one thing or the other with one not allowing the other to rest. Since Amaechi and Wike parted ways in 2013, both men have succeeded in polarizing everyone and everything in Rivers State including revered institutions like the Church and the Traditional institutions into two camps with incessant attacks and counter-attacks from both camps. The latest is the claim of an assassination attempt by both camps as a result of the recent melee which occurred penultimate weekend.
Both men should be told in clear and unmistakable terms that Rivers State is bigger than both of them. Since this personality clash began some years ago, countless lives have been lost on both sides of the divide due to the inability of both politicians to sheathe their swords and work for the interest of peace in the state. They do not necessarily have to belong to the same party but words, acts, and actions that are inimical to the interest of peace in the state should be avoided by both parties. The security agencies should avoid being partisan and endeavour to carry out their duties with the highest professional standards and also without fear or favour. The youths should avoid selling their destiny for a morsel of bread by blindly choosing to support one camp or the other since in reality none of the camps are innocent nor do any of them have the interest of the people that they claim to lead at heart. They should remember the popular African adage that says “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers”.