Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is a Nigerian politician who has been serving as the Governor of Rivers State since 2015 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He is a lawyer by profession. He has served as the Minister of State for Education and the Local Government Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.
He was born on 13th December 1963, in Rumuepirikom, Rivers State to the family of Reverend and Mrs Nlemanya Wike. He is an Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State. He is married to Eberechi Suzzette Wike, a judge of the Rivers State High Court of Justice, and they have three children (Jordan, Joaquin, and Jazmyne).
|Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Rivers State||M.A Political and Administrative Studies|
|Nigerian Law School||B.L (Bachelor of Laws)||1997|
|Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Rivers State||LL.B|
|Government Secondary School Eneka, Obiakpor, Rivers State||West African Senior Secondary Certificate|
Wike worked briefly in private legal practice before joining politics
24 August 1967
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Federal Minister of Education (2013-2014)
State Minister of Education (2011-2013)
Chief of Staff, Rivers State (2007-2011)
Local Government Chairman, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (1999-2007)
Governor, Rivers State (since 2015)
In 1999, Wike was elected as the Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State. He held this position until 2007.
In 2004, while in office, he served as the Deputy President, of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), and was later elected the President of the association. He was also an African representative in the Commonwealth Local Governments Forum.
In 2007, Wike was appointed the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi. He was also appointed the Director-General of Amaechi’s re-election campaign in 2011. Wike held the position of Chief of Staff until 2011 when President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as the Minister of State for Education.
In September 2013, following the sack of the Federal Minister of Education, Mrs Ruqqayatu, Wike was appointed the Federal Minister of Education. After some time, Wike voluntarily resigned to contest for the Governorship of Rivers State.
On 8th December 2014, he won the Rivers State People’s Democratic Party gubernatorial election primaries and subsequently won the general elections in April 2015 alongside his running mate, Ipalibo Banigo.
Wike was re-elected as the Governor of Rivers State in the 2019 general elections – on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.
In March 2022, Wike declared his interest to run for the Presidential office of Nigeria during the 2023 general elections.
In May 2022, he contested for the People’s Democratic Party presidential ticket but lost to Atiku Abubakar. He will be retiring from his current position as the Governor of Rivers State in the upcoming 2023 election.
He believes proper Education can make Nigeria great again. His style of Leadership tends towards a liberal approach to development and progress of the followers.
Awards & Honours
- 2021 Human Rights Award conferred by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- 2021 ‘Best Governor’ by Nigerian Social Media Awards
- 2021 Good Governance Award conferred by the Mayorkings Agency Group
- 2017 “Governor of the Year Award” conferred by The Sun Newspapers
- National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
- During his tenure in the Ministry of Education, Wike spearheaded a nationwide reform of the nation’s education system, though some programs involved the:
- Creation of access to quality education for 9 million Almajiri children in Northern Nigeria through the construction of dedicated schools in affected states
- Construction of basic education vocational training schools for out-of-school children in Southern Nigeria
- Construction of Special Girl-Education Schools for less privileged girls in 16 states of the country.
- Free distribution of books across the nation, through which over sixty million textbooks and library resource materials have been distributed
- Initiation of training of close to 500,000 basic education teachers and school administrators
- Construction of three major flyovers in Port Harcourt; specifically in Garrison, Rumoukoro and Artillery.
- Completion of Rivers State Cassava Processing Plant which is boosting agricultural productivity
- Created three new campuses for the Rivers State University
- Established a College of Medical Sciences in the state university
- Developed a Real Madrid Football Academy to address youth development
- Established a Cancer/Cardiovascular Disease Centre
- Wike’s emergence as the winner of the 2015 Rivers gubernatorial election was surrounded by a lot of controversies. The Election Tribunal was informed that the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers awarded Wike votes almost five times higher than the actual, authentic total number of voters accredited with card readers and Permanent Voter Cards which was 292, 878 (the total number of accredited voters for April 11, 2015, gubernatorial election in Rivers). However, the result declared by the Returning Officer for Rivers State, Osasere Orumwense, on April 13, 2015, stated that Wike was awarded 1,029,102 votes, thus winning the election.
- In 2019, he was severely criticised over the allegation that he ordered the demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt.