The governor explained that friendship in politics, irrespective of political party affiliations, would help to grow the nation’s democracy and engender development.
Speaking in Port Harcourt on Wednesday during a lecture/symposium in honour of the late Ovunda Nsirim, Wike noted that friendship and reconciliation in politics would help to reduce political tension in the state.
He pointed out that the late Nsirim, in his practice of politics, entrenched the tenets of mentorship, friendship and reconciliation within the state’s political landmark.
According to him, Nsirim, who was a member of the House of Representatives, accommodated all political interest groups by relating with everyone.
He said, “For me, I don’t know of any politician in Rivers State, who will say that he did not benefit from the late Ovunda Nsirim, one way or the other.
“As a person, he was my brother and political mentor. Ovunda Nsirim was a bundle of talents. Politically, he was a strategist. I learnt a lot from him.”
The governor described the death of Nsirim as unfortunate, pointing out that his death was a big loss.
He said, “Ovunda Nsirim was not just an Ikwerre man. He was a complete Rivers man. I have lost a brother; I have lost a mentor.”
In his remarks, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Okey Wali (SAN), noted that the late Nsirim stood for mentorship.
Chairman on the occasion, Senator Ben Birabi, said that the late Nsirim was a politician with an ideology, even as he called for the reinvention of mentorship in the state.