By Simeon Nwakaudu
The last time I heard from Mr Austin Tam-George was when he wrote a
misguided piece, “Tonye Cole And The Moment Of Epiphany”. At that time,
the failed APC Federal Government had promised them the use of the
Nigerian Army to capture Rivers State and basking in the euphoria of an
anticipated political rape, Austin Tam-George had penned down that
Today, Tonye Cole serves as the Body Guard for Anthony Joshua in
Ajegunle, whilst Tam-George is struggling to find his feet in the APC
fast failing lying machine.
I reminded him at that time that Rivers people were firmly behind
Governor Wike. His new Oga, Tonye Cole could not even make it to the
ballot, let alone contest that election. Tam-George joined the Amaechi
Rigging Mercenary Squad that teamed up with the AAC and the Nigerian
Army. Needless to say they were defeated despite their deployment of
extensive military machine against the good people of Rivers State.
This Evening, my attention was drawn to yet another misadventure by Mr
Austin Tam-George in a piece he titled: “A GOVERNOR’S DIALOGUE WITH
CHRIST”. Initially, I thought that Tam-George ‘shared’ the press
statement written against Governor Wike by the Muslim Rights Concern
(MURIC). MURIC and other Muslim Groups led the attack on Governor Wike
when he reiterated that Rivers is a Christian State.
First, Tam-George has the courage to mock Christ in his offensive piece
because Christians are liberal minded. He cannot do that with the
other major religion in Nigeria.
Since Tam-George defected to the APC, he has lost his capacity for
articulate examination of issues. He has lost the strength to stand in
defence of Rivers State. In his few engagements, he has struggled in
vain to please the Muslim Leaders of APC in his quest to gain placement
in the Janjaweed APC Structure.
To Tam-George, Governor Wike committed a crime by stating the obvious.
Worldwide, Governor Wike is known as a man of truth. He is not given to
hypocrisy. This is the main reason why Rivers people prefer him.
Rivers is a Christian State. Same way that Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa,
Katsina etc in the far north have declared themselves Muslim States. In
terms of the population, over 98 percent of Rivers people are
Tam-George is unhappy that Governor Wike is committed to his Christian
faith. He is unhappy that the Governor built an Ecumenical Centre with
public funds. But the Federal Government has a National Mosque and a
National Christian Centre funded with public resources. The Federal
Government funds Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission and National Hajj
Commission. This level of hypocrisy is one of the fundamental reasons
why Rivers people continue to reject the APC.
Whilst a Commissioner under Governor Wike, Tam-George announced the
flag off of the Rivers State Ecumenical Centre, which he now finds
offensive because he has defected to the APC. Governor Wike flagged off
the construction of the Ecumenical Centre and Port Harcourt Pleasure
Park on same day. They are both iconic structures in Rivers State.
Tam-George raised the issue of unemployment in his piece. Right from his
first term, Governor Wike has committed himself to the creation of
employment opportunities. His countless projects created thousands of
jobs across the 23 Local Government Areas. Now in his second term,
Governor Wike has opened up employment opportunities in the civil
service, schools and other government departments. In a similar vein,
the Rivers State Government handed out interest free loans to young
entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
I was surprised that Tam-George had the courage to talk about
insecurity in Rivers State. Rivers State is one of the safest places in
Nigeria today. The entire North West, North East and North Central have
collapsed in the worst wave of insecurity in the history of the country.
The South-West where Tam-George resides has been hijacked by Herdsmen
and Bandits . They rob and kidnap with carefree abandon. Rivers State
has its own security challenges, but it remains one of the safest
places due to the innovative and proactive approach of Governor Wike.
In an article titled: “Governor Wike’s Finest Hour” on October 10, 2016,
Tam-George had this to say about Wike’s courage and commitment to
“Governor Wike’s courageous insistence on the supremacy of the law, even
as he was physically assaulted by men of the DSS, is his finest service
to Nigeria.The governor’s historic intervention reminds us of the
sacrifice every Nigerian must now be prepared to make, as we challenge
the tyranny and anarchy that loom over our nation”.
In an interview with Pulse on August 18, 2016, Tam-George as then Rivers
State Commissioner of Information articulated the Wike’s security
Tam-George said: “As a principle, Governor Wike supports and works
closely and respectfully with all security agencies. All he wants is for
the security agencies to be insulated from partisan politics, so that
they could focus on their jobs. That is his point. Police and other
security personnel posted to serve in Rivers State should fight crime
and help maintain the peace. We welcome and will support anyone posted
to Rivers State. We only ask that they conduct their work
professionally. This is the governor’s point. He will continue his
unflinching support to the police and all security institutions in the
Today, sports is one of the highest employers of labour across the
globe. International Football is a key avenue of empowering youths. The
establishment of Real Madrid Football Academy is aimed at creating
future international football stars. This Football Institution has the
support and blessing of Real Madrid Football Club. It is embarrassing
that Tam-George attempted to berate the creation of this important
school. But when you remember that Tam-George has joined the APC, then
you will eagerly forgive him. In the APC, the norm is
under-development. Tam-George captured it well while he was still on
the positive side.
On September 25, 2016, Tam-George wrote: “The APC leaders in Rivers
State seem to be more interested in their shiny hats and cosmetic bags
at media briefings. Hardly would you hear them engage in a meaningful
debate on how to put the state on a sustainable trajectory of growth “.
In mentioning the meeting that Governor Wike had with ambassadors of
European Union in Abuja, Tam-George suffered amnesia. He forgot that
Rivers State Governor and the Heads of Mission agreed on a partnership
in the area of commercial agriculture with the objective of employment
generation. This opening created for Rivers State by the European Union
was principally in response to the outstanding performance of Governor
Wike and his grassroots support base.
It is rather disheartening that Tam-George decided to dance on the
graves of those killed during the Pipeline Explosion at Kom Kom in
Oyigbo Local Government Area. For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers
State Government , the PDP and all key stakeholders have worked together
to address the situation.
The Government House through the Office of the Deputy Governor, the
State Ministry of Environment, the Oyigbo Local Government Council,
Senator Representing Rivers South-East (PDP), the House of
Representatives Member, Representing Tai/Eleme/Oyigbo Federal
Constituency (PDP) and the PDP Leadership in the area directly
intervened and alleviated the pains of victims. All stakeholders are
working to ensure a closure.
The Rivers State Government in a meeting with the Senate AdHoc
Committee on Pipe Line Explosion in Kom Kom, Oyigbo Local Government
Area of Rivers State hoped that recommendations of the committee would
ensure that such tragedies don’t happen again. This committee was set
up by the Senate Leadership after a motion by the Senator Representing
Rivers South East Senatorial District.
The Rivers State under Governor Wike that Tam-George described to Pulse
in his interview on August 18, 2016 has grown better.
Hear Tam-George in that interview: “Governor Wike has brought Rivers
State back on its feet again. There is an impressive momentum of
development everywhere you turn. The government is re-vitalising the
State through the provision of critical infrastructure. Roads that were
abandoned for decades and were impassable in many places have been
completely re-constructed. Over 180 km of roads across the State have
been completed in one of the most challenging terrains for
constructions. The Governor is implementing a massive urban renewal
plan, and the construction of roads and bridges form the centrepiece of
this plan. Even street lights and road traffic lights are being restored
on all major roads. This has given Port Harcourt a more functional and
liveable outlook” .
The above statement by Tam-George was made when he was still in
control of the facts of the pro-Rivers struggle. It is a summation of
the reality on ground in today’s Rivers State. It was for this reason
that Rivers people stood with Governor Wike during the invasion of the
AAC/APC/ARMY Alliance. It was for this reason that unarmed women,
youths and elders stood their ground to insist on their mandate being
Tam-George hates the declaration that Rivers is a Christian State, but
he posited that there are over 5000 Churches in the state. This is the
ugly form of hypocrisy that has led to the destruction of Nigeria by
the APC. They talk from all sides of their mouth. These Churches that
Tam-George mocked stood firm for Governor Wike. They refused to allow
the Janjaweed elements kidnap Rivers State. As a Godfearing Christian,
Governor Wike will never be intimidated by these Janjaweed elements into
forgetting that Rivers is a Christian State.
The more these Janjaweed fighters cry, the more the declaration will be
made. The more these Janjaweed fighters attempt to play the Ostrich, the
more the Church of Christ will prevail. The Federal Government
continues to promote RUGA, Cattle Colonies and other issues that promote
a particular divide, all Tam-George can do at this time of National
Despondency is to display the worst form of hypocrisy.