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Date Published: 05/18/10

What I Have Learnt From Tonye Princewill By Odimegwu Onwumere

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The much heralded speculations that Prince Tonye Prince Princewill was ruminating to abandon the Action Congress (AC), a party he contested election under in the 2007 gubernatorial elections in Rivers State and thereafter became its self-acclaimed leader, has come to an end. This came aftermath his political mentor, Atiku Abubakar defected to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), from the AC he held sway, having been molested in the Olusegun Obasanjo-PDP in 2007. In Princewill’s resignation letter dated 11 th May 2010, tendered to the AC chairman of his home town in Ward 3, Asari-Toru Local Government Council, he said, amongst other things that he is grateful to AC for having given him the opportunity to serve his fatherland. In his own words: “I remain grateful to the party for giving me the opportunity to serve and work for the greater good of the state and our democracy. I wish you all well in your future endeavours”.

After reading the jaundiced letter, I could not anymore understand if politics is still defined as prudence. I was dumbfounded if it has been redefined as “as heartbreaker”, because I was among the people who followed this dude to the AC with the view that the “change” we seek for had come, having the repented Paul now going back to answer Saul.

I think Princewill was among the many politicians who saw the PDP, as Prof. Wole Soyinka would say, a nest of killers. (A party no good can come from). That was when Dr. Sir Peter Odili was governor of Rivers State. A neophyte then in politics, Princewill always boasted that the Eagle has landed to turn the black feathers of the then Rivers State to white. He did not see anything in the PDP government as good. He boasted that he represented the “change” many of us were very sick to have.

His action has reminded me of the saying of a friend that if you intimidate, you can’t teach. It has made me also to re-think whether one M.S Daura is not a seer when Dauda reportedly antagonized the defection of Atiku to the PDP in an online discussion thus: “It is unfortunate that people that I thought were enlighten and intelligent came out to be just a set of maroon dancing around the shadow of unprincipled and un-ideological way of living. For heaven sake, does any right thinking human being (not living animal) on earth see anything good about Atiku's political career? If there is such a person, then we as human beings need to redefine our status and values. Haba! Atiku deserved to be treated this way, as a political prostitute)”.

While that raged and the person who defected does not bath the eyelid but today is set to dine with the PDP he severally called names, one Olaijide Samuel cleared the air on the political prostitutes in Nigeria when he argued, “Well, I’m not surprised. Every Nigerian is an opportunist. We catch on every available opportunity to make name for ourselves”.

Samuel was right because when the likes of Princewill he once relied on was in the AC, he caught on every opportunity available and made name for himself while leading the hypnotized Rivers State Action Congress in the Unity Government as practiced in the state.

The chairman of River Drill, Princewill against his abandonment has defined politics as a game of the unprincipled by his action, but I am yet to subscribe to the ideology, because there are men who would prefer to die for what they believed, one man was the Umuofia’s Okonkwo.

While Princewill was praising his trainer, whom he has towed his line today, he saw Atiku as “...a member of the G34 that wrestled power from the military and formed PDP that we are talking about, it is the same Atiku that put his life on the line to fight against the 3rd term agenda and dictatorial tendencies and undemocratic manoeuvres of General Olusegun Obasanjo that we are talking about, that is the same Atiku that stood by Rivers State AC when other Leaders were at our neck to bring us down that we are talking about, that it is the same Atiku that gave AC its national outlook that we are talking about, that it is the same Atiku that has demonstrated that he is prepared to deny his personal interest to defend democracy that we are talking about. That it is the same Atiku that ensured the Prince Tonye Princewill, a Rivers State man was appointed member of the Steering Committee of NDM, equivalent of BOT position of PDP that we are talking about, it is the same Atiku Abubakar that is the Head of PDM, the most viable and most dynamic political structure that installed PDP into power that we are talking about... Atiku, we will follow you wherever you go, we will follow you”.

But following that praises, the question is, where is Atiku today? If not in oblivion. Let’s us perhaps remove the axiom that political prostitution is dangerous and assert here that there is nothing wrong in Atiku rejoining PDP; after all, he co-founded the party. Some of the self- acclaimed PDP leaders today were not in the scene of its formation, so let Atiku enjoy his labour. But did Princewill labour in the PDP or another party he might join?

However, Hon. Suage Badey, the Rivers State Action Congress chairman does not see Princewill as a resigned member of the AC, but a suspended member, which he said was effected on 28 th April, 2010 because of his perceived anti-party activities. The AC scribe however advised Princewill that whichever party Princewill wants to join, he should not deviate from the principles known of AC which he said was to give the voiceless voice.

Hear Badey: Tonye Princewill’s resignation is welcomed. He had been suspended from the party since April 28 th, 2010, which makes his resignation premature. However, we would want him to keep his principles in line with AC ideology that seeks to address poverty, underdevelopment and the dwindling progress in the nation. He won’t find that in PDP, but can educate them by association having been well groomed and tutored by AC, if he finally lands in the PDP. The AC has an ideology that is second to none. We have mission backed by a solid vision and the will to effect the action. It’s time for the electorate to exercise their right and put their weight behind the people’s party, Action Congress come 2011”.

Odimegwu Onwumere , a Poet/Author and a Media Consultant, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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