Posted by News Express | 8 March 2019 | 1,023 times
A leading politician and two-time governorship candidate in Rivers State has called on the political class to shun violence in any form in Saturday’s election “as bad news travels fast and sends the wrong signal for Rivers State.”
Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill, who is the Director, Strategic Communications, Tonye Cole Campaign Organization, made the call when departing Abuja for Port Harcourt where he will cast his vote in the performance of his civic duties. “The news in the country on Rivers state is often fashionably negative and we as leaders cannot simply blame it on the media. We all have a responsibility too. While some are fascinated by the headlines, we are the ones who have to suffer the impact of these negative headlines and tarnished reputations,” he said.
The Prince of the Niger Delta, as he is fondly called, went further to explain that “without security, we cannot attract business, without business you cannot create jobs and without jobs you cannot have peace.”
Continuing, he said: “Two northerners competed keenly for the office of President and it is in Rivers that our people were killing each other. How does that make sense? Having said that, people will not realise that most of Rivers state was peaceful. In Asari Toru where I was, PHALGA and Abua LGA where historically violence has been the norm, people from opposing parties were seen sitting together at the collation centre and cracking jokes. You don’t hear that do you because bad news travels fast. Leaders should think beyond today and ourselves.”
Princewill called on the international community to sanction people who obtain power through violence and the blood of innocent people saying that sanctions, travel restrictions and account freezes are what will hit a politician where it hurts. “We are tired of their barking. They need to start to develop teeth,” he said.
On where he stands on the election, he threw his weight behind the adoption of the African Alliance Congress (AAC) by Rivers APC.
Princewill said in a statement issued on Thursday: “Even though I cannot hide my disappointment at the non-inclusion of Rivers State APC candidates on the ballot come Saturday, I, too must approve the decision reached by our leadership to support Sowore’s AAC in our upcoming Governorship election. With the way things are hot in Rivers state, a double AC may just be what we need.
“Seriously though, “Wike must go” and “Power must rotate”, were what attracted me to this cause. It was not candidate specific then and it is not candidate specific now. Tonye Cole and the other APC candidates will still have their day in court. The apex court has not yet spoken and since we’re advised not to speak while eating, Rivers state without Wike will allow the judges to speak even more freely.
“The injustice of exclusion like this will be written about for years to come and the actors and the role each one played will be dissected by law professionals and the rest of us, the world over. It’s nothing short of a disgrace. Justice for me is the annulling of this election, I still stand by that. But since justice has been denied us for far too long, we have opted to do what is available to us now; Vote out Wike. For as long as we all await justice, let us do it with a different person sitting in Brick House.
“That is where Biokpo Awara comes in. I urge all those who love us to vote for him and all those who despise Wike’s politics to do same. I must advise you all to do so peacefully please. Election Violence is not our friend. He is Wike’s brother. And this Saturday, both Wike and his brother will meet their match, when the security agencies ensure your votes count, free from harassment and free from intimidation.
“Oyibo man talk say; “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Let us hold this one first before all our candidates come out from that bush.
“Vote Biokpo Awara. Vote AAC. Remember the motto and also the logo. Hands up. Let’s take it back from those who want to keep taking us back.”
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