Posted by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze | 15 October 2012 | 4,415 times
According to the book Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 18, ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth...”, Prince Tonye Princewill the man who is has redefined the concept of philanthropy in Rivers State by his magnanimity in assisting the less privileged may have picked his famous statement articulated in some of his billboards in Port Harcourt, “You are blessed to bless others” from this passage of the Bible which has become the motivating force behind his drive to better the lots of the less privileged in our society. One can also state that the Prince of Niger Delta Politics is influenced by his art of giving by Proverbs 28:27: “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack; but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”
Henry Ward Beecher may have had Princewill in mind when he stated: “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.” Indeed, Prince Tonye Princewill’s acts are in tandem with Dr. Beecher’s postulation. Some have wondered why a man who has not held any government appointment should take it upon himself to use his hard earned resources to impact on the lives of both the youths, women, churches, professionals and less privileged in Nigeria through one philanthropic activity or the other as has been characterised his recent acts and actions.
While Princewill’s philanthropic activities are nationwide, the aim of this piece is to critically examine the silent revolution this young man has ignited in Rivers State through his donation and training of rural women in the state by empowering them through skill acquisition scheme. According to him, “Women to me are the bedrock of every family. Empower the woman and you have empowered the entire family. I am a believer in the saying don’t give me fish but teach me on how to fish. By donating skill acquisition equipment to our rural women, I intend to train them in some special skill that will help them establish and launch themselves into catering for themselves and their families.”
Prince’s exhibition of his unwavering love and concern for the plight of rural women in Rivers State started when he mobilised the women in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, on March 12, 2012 during this year’s International Women Day and donated a whopping sum of N23 million for the upliftment of Rivers State women through his skill acquisition scheme.
Hear him: “The welfare and future of our women is more important to me than playing politics with the little fund available to me to alleviate and cushion the sorry state of our rural women who in some cases are the bread winners in their various families. Though I can’t boast of being rich but with the little that God has blessed me with, I am ready to give back to the society with hope that other blessed and rich people will be motivated to assisting the governments to arrest the poverty level of our people and in doing that arrest the crime wave amongst our youths and in the populace.”
Apart from donating the skill acquisition tools, the Prince of Niger Delta Politics also gave a 14-seater air-conditioned bus to the State PPA (Princewill Political Associates) Women Wing. Dr. Mrs. Edith Wele, the PPA Women Leader who received the bus and tools, thanked the Prince on behalf of the women for his exemplary leadership anchored on touching the less privileged and assured him that the women of Rivers State would always stand by him in all his endeavours.
After equipping the PPA Secretariat situated at the ever busy Aba Road in Port Harcourt where the women leaders from all the Local Government Areas in the State are trained in various skills, the Prince mobilised resources and tools for the actual take-off, at the local governments, of this innovative revolution aimed at empowering our women in Rivers State.
The first batch of the skill acquisition machineries that have arrived was duly distributed to the women in Asari-Toru, Tai and Obio-Akpor local government areas in the hope that the company commissioned to supply these equipment would supply to the remaining local government areas before the end of this month, October.
On October 3, 2012 the Prince Tonye Princewill visited Obio Akpor and Tai local government areas under the auspices of Princewiil’s Trust to commission the skills acquisition equipment he had procured and distributed to them. These equipment will be used to train and empower rural women to enable them cater for their families and make them financially independent. The event was indeed electrifying as women, youths and chiefs gathered at the various centres visited to catch a glimpse of this young man trying to redefine politics and philanthropy in Rivers State.
At Obio Akpor LGA, he paid a courtesy call on His Royal Highness, King Prof Raymond Woko, the Paramount Ruler of Rumowha Community, and was blessed before he left to join the crowd that came to welcome him at the PPA Secretariat, Obio Akpor, where he commissioned the skill acquisition equipment for the training of the women in the area.
The sequence of events was repeated in Tai LGA where His Royal Majesty, King G.N.K. Gininwa OFR, Gbenemene Tua-Tua Tai, Chairman Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, was on hand to receive him to his palace.
Hon. Emmanuel Owhor, the PPA Coordinator for Obio Akpor and Lady Peace Teeah the PPA, Coordinator for Tai Local Government Area, described Prince Tonye Princewill as a leader of the common man, saying that they are ready to sacrifice whatever it will take to promote the Prince and his Trust fund to the people of their LGA.
If his visits to Tai and Obio-Akpor LGAs were electrifying then his visit to his home Local Government, Asari Toru, on October 5 to commission their own skill acquisition training tools was exhilarating and thrilling as it debunked the popular saying that a prophet is not honoured in his home town. The whole Buguma city, the traditional and political capital of Asari Toru and Kalabari Kingdom, was agog over what one elderly woman described as home coming of the Prince of the Kalabari Kingdom.
After the commissioning ceremony, the Prince took time to meet with cross sections of the community, including the youths, women and other interest groups – all of whose the leadership thanked the Prince for his commitment and concern for the emancipation of his people from the shackles of poverty in Kalabari Kingdom.
In line with his custom and tradition, he paid a courtesy call on His Royal Majesty, King Prof. T. J. T. Princewill, CFR, the Amanyanabo Kalabari Kingdom and the immediate past Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, in the palace. Members of the Kalabari Council of Chiefs present to assist the King to welcome the august visitor and their son included Chiefs C.J.T. Princewill, Chief L.G. Princewill, Chief Yola Batubo, Chief Daa George, Chief Bekinabo Erekeosima, Chief LongJohn and Chief Norman Wokoma.
The Prince in his introductory remarks said: “My King, my father, my friend and my mentor, I am delighted to stand before the man that shaped me in all the positive things that I am doing. This is a man who if it is possible I will like him to still father me in the next world. I am here today to commission the skill acquisition training tools that will assist in empowering our rural women. Instead of giving the women fish, I want to train them on how to catch fish. I commend the King for the peace that pervades his domain and urge him not to derail in this aspect as without peace there can’t be any form of development. Now that I am at home, I have assured our PPA Leadership in the Local Government that I will digitalise their office by providing computers, one Hummer air-conditioned bus to ease out their transportation challenges and take other steps to reposition the Secretariat even as I have established a revolving loan scheme for the emancipation of the women in the local government area.” The Prince concluded his remarks by reminding his audience that it was the Buguma crisis of 2003 that challenged him to join politics seeing how insecure his people were and the inability of government to guarantee the safety his people at that time and believing that his actions will continue to bring joy to his people and the entire State in general.
HM King Prof. T.J.T. Princewill CFR in his reaction thanked the Prince and his entourage for the visit and for the donations made to the women from the Kalabari Kingdom. He encouraged him to continue to be the light of the Kalabari Kingdom to the outside world as he is proud of all his accomplishments in such a short time in the politics of our country, the King later on behalf of the Kingdom blessed the Prince and presented him with a gift.
Hon. Prince Dateme JP, Secretary to the King, Deaconess Mrs. Jimba T.F. Harry, the Women Leader of Asari-Toru LGA, and others that spoke poured encomiums on the Prince, describing him as a shining star of the Kalabari Kingdom.
*Eze Chukwuemeka Eze (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt.
*Photo shows Prince Tonye Princewill adressing members of PPA at the Rivers State Government House.
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