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2011: WAR DRUM BEAT ON ZONING DETRIMENTAL TO NATION BUILDING; DIALOGUE IS THE PANACEA – PRINCE TONYE PRINCEWILL EVEN AS HE ZOOMS TO SOUTH AFRICA ON THE INVITATION OF PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA OF SOUTH AFRICA.

By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The former Rivers State AC Leader and member of the Rivers State Advisory Council and current Leader of Princewill Political Associates (PPA), Prince Tonye Princewill on Wednesday 7th July, 2010, spoke on some issues of National interest. He spoke at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on his way to South Africa to attend the 2010 World Cup finals and closing ceremony as one of the special guests of the South African President Jacob Zuma. Speaking frankly on the front burner issue of the political zoning arrangement and the President's plans for the 2011 election, Princewill stated thus “I am not comfortable with the raging issue of whether President Jonathan Goodluck should contest or not and neither do I choose to speak for or against the principle of zoning at this time. I would rather like to urge all players in the matter that all our utterances and decisions should be guided by the realization that we have no other country than Nigeria. The quest for power should not inadvertently undermine the sanctity of our constitution or threaten the peace of our continued existence as a Federation”. Princewill went on to suggest that given the divergent opinions of those for or against the zoning arrangement, it would be in the best interest of all if a stakeholders forum -to include Elder Statesmen, past Heads of State, political Leaders and other interest groups- be convened. This he said would enable them come together under one roof to dialogue and reach a lasting position on the issue.

Princewill also used the opportunity to commend Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, the National Chairman of PDP for his stance on the zoning arrangement issue as documented in a recent interview he gave in London, in which Nwodo asserted that he would revisit the issue to reach an acceptable consensus acceptable to all parties. Princewill stated that the PDP Chair's assurances have further served to dispel any personal reservations on his decision to rejoin PDP at this time.

He stated unreservedly that the emergence of Dr Jonathan as Leader of PDP, Dr Nwodo as National Chairman of the party and the reentry of Alh. Atiku Abubakar back to PDP fold is perhaps the greatest thing that may have happened to the party and the Nation's democracy He stated that the result of three such great minds working together for the common good is better seen than imagined.

Speaking about the trip to SA, Princewill expressed pleasure at the honour of the invitation from the South African Presidency, stating that it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this epochal event first of its kind on African soil”. Although saddened by the Super Eagles dismal outing at the Mundial, Princewill said that he is happy that the President rescinded on his earlier decision and can only hope that things would turn out better in our football administration.

He said regarding his move back to PDP, everything is set in this regard, he stated thus “once I am back from South Africa, it will be action all the way until we succeed to take the 'People' back to Democratic Party 'P'DP. Dr Ibiamu Davies Ikanya the Chairman of the Transition Committee and his Team are doing a great job and I am convinced that we will peacefully and successfully rejoin the party where we truly belong to”

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant to
Prince Tonye Princewill