Governor Nyesom Wike (first right) admiring the Nigeria Professional Football League trophy with Rivers United captain, Festus Austin, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port-Harcourt, on Sunday.
The role of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in the success of Rivers United in the Nigeria Professional Football League, this term, clearly serves as one of the most remarkable stories of the modern era.
With Sharks and Dolphins, both owned by the State recording mixed fortunes under his watch, Wike had better ideas.
Desirous of a silverware, Wike believed merging both teams will produce better results. As a result, he set up a committee headed by former Nigerian International, Adokiye Amiesimaka, to oversee the possibility of a merger.
In February 2016, Wike announced the merger of both teams and formation of a new team, Rivers United.
Despite criticisms from some quarters, Wike moved on with his idea.
First season turned out eventful as the new team finished second behind eventual champions, Rangers.
Since 2016, Wike has lived up to his promise of backing the team financially and the club has been moving closer to the title.
Two years ago (2019/20), the club finished third.
Last season, it was another step forward as it finished second behind Akwa United. Only five points separated the club from Akwa.
Fast forward to 2022!
Six years after Wike took the bold decision, Rivers United has finally metamorphosed into a Nigerian powerhouse with their first Nigerian title.
Did Wike see the future?
The performance of Rivers United is a clear indication that Wike saw what others couldn’t see!