Posted by News Express | 21 December 2013 | 3,466 times
Things have fallen apart between Governor Chibuike Amaech of Rivers State and his bosom friend, Prince Tonye Princewill, News Express can report this morning.
Princewill himself confirmed this when he told select newsmen that his relationship with Amaechi “is no longer what it used to be.” He described their falling apart as “inevitable” and went on to accuse Amaechi of a long list of sins, among them betrayal, stinginess, failure to adequately compensate him for his support and poaching of team members. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain who ran as governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007 also accused Amaechi of being unprincipled, saying that he has turned around to work with people he vilified before his quarrel with PDP that led to his leaving the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Princewill’s words: “I have supported him at my own expense and it was no longer wise to continue to do so. Each man to a box, they say. Most of the negativity I get today was because I decided to support Amaechi’s government in 2007. Some accuse me of doing it for money, others accuse me of lacking the fighting spirit, some go as far as calling me a sell-out. All that because I decided after fighting a good fight that I should allow what I saw as a divine decision to stand. I sold all I had to fight the 2007 election but after I supported Amaechi, I had to leave the state to survive because I was not a government pickin who survived off government leading up to 2007 so why should I be lazy and become one now? Amaechi knows this. I did some work but it was not at all commensurate with my input and even though I finished it after one year, it took them over two years later to pay me. But I never complained. Amaechi was a good man and I know he appreciated me.
“Amaechi was like aradite, anyway, so empowering me was not his first, second or third interest. I noticed this and went about my business. Many say I was involved in Silverbird, the 1,000-bed hospital, waste management and many other things but the truth is not what it seems and one day it will all come out. In 2011, I engineered over half a billion naira of contributions to Amaechi’s campaign. Majority of the contributors came with money from outside Rivers State. Did Tonye Princewill see one contract worth that much? No. Yet I still stood by him, because I was there for the state’s interest, not my pocket. That support I gave Amaechi cost me politically but I didn’t look back. I gave it. In the end God will judge us.
“My people supported him tooth and nail but yet they were not acknowledged. I asked and asked, they were promised and promised but even after he told them in public and on national TV that he likes to keep his word as an example to his children, he didn’t. Still I supported him. He removed our commissioners in his cabinet, still I supported him, he promised other appointments and failed, still I supported him, because I was not there for me. If I was interested in me, I would have done things differently, had a deal with Omehia and collected N1.5 billion from him. All this I did because I believed Amaechi came from God. I never knew him before October 2007, yet I was more useful to him than people who grew up with him in politics. Many of my supporters felt that my refusal to fall out with him signified I was eating fat and content. This was not the case.
“I saw my support as a stabilising force. The Riverine were agitating for a governor after eight years of an Odili upland regime. People like me deciding to stand by Amaechi gave him credibility and soothed the Riverine /Upland divide that has dogged our state for so long. One day I sincerely hope that Amaechi looks at my role and realises that he lost a friend given to him by God. It might be too late for us, but let him not do this to others. Eventually it catches up with us. The same man he called corrupt a.k.a Mr. Consumables and not wanting to do politics with is now the interim Chairman of APC in my state; the same man he called an irritant and refused his calls is now his spokesman and the list goes on. He deliberately poached members of my team without the courtesy of my consent and did it only when he needed them. But I am not bitter. They are good men and deserve recognition. I am glad for the role I played in their lives. Good luck to them. I only wish he had recognised them sooner.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: WATCH OUT FOR THE FULL, EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW LATER IN THE DAY.
•Photo shows Prince Tonye Princewill.
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