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ALL ROADS LEAD TO PH RESIDENCE OF RIVERS STATE AC LEADER PRINCE TONYE AS NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT ((NDM) PLANS TO METARPHOSE INTO ACTION CONGRESS (AC)- POLITICIANS ACROSS POLITICAL DIVIDES CLAMOUR TO IDENTIFY WITH THE NEW VISION.

By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

ALL ROADS LEAD TO PH RESIDENCE OF RIVERS STATE AC LEADER PRINCE TONYE AS NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT ((NDM) PLANS TO METARPHOSE INTO ACTION CONGRESS (AC)- POLITICIANS ACROSS POLITICAL DIVIDES CLAMOUR TO IDENTIFY WITH THE NEW VISION.

In an unprecedented political move, the first of its kind to be witnessed in the political arena in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill has set in motion the berthing of a Movement that is bound to change the entire political climate of not only Rivers State but hopefully the entire South-South Region.

Fresh from a series of meetings held by the NDM a fortnight ago in Abuja, where he holds appointment as one of the three members on the Steering committee from the South-south, Prince Tonye Princewill has since his arrival in PH, been tirelessly involved in the mobilization of diverse demographic groups and stakeholders for the purpose of sensitizing, recruiting, regrouping and organizing them in line with the National Democratic Movement's vision of forming a Mega Movement to save Nigeria from the throes of hardship and the threat of collapse occasioned by inept PDP leadership.

According to him, the various meetings were a direct response to the mandate given to members of the Steering Committee to sensitize, mobilize, and enlighten their state constituency on the vision and guiding principles of the NDM. The Prince of Niger Delta Politics also stated that their mission was also to feel the pulse of the different groups by gauging their responses and cataloguing same, which would then be presented for deliberations at the NDM steering committee meeting slated for the 16th of March in Abuja the Nation's Capital.

He stated that three options were presented during their last meeting on what the mega party structure would look like. He said that considering the late timing in the formation of a new political party that will challenge PDP at the polls and the failure of alliances in the past, the Movement has decided to adopt AC as the consensus platform come the 2011 general elections. To this end the AC will be totally “restructured” to accommodate new members from across political divides. This would involve the dissolution of all its structures (in their entirety) at every level from ward to local government to state and national to give every new entrant a sense of belonging.

In the course of the sensitization drive he met first with Barrister Osima Ginah, Hon. Commissioner for Urban Development, his counterpart in the Special Duties Ministry, Dr. Ibiamu Ikanya, (the two opposition Commissioners in the Unity Government of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi), also with Chief Williams Igweh , Deputy Leader of Rivers State AC and Special Adviser to Gov. Amaechi on Inter-Party Matters and his state party Chairman Mr Alexander Suage Badey.

Subsequently within a three day interval from 8th through 10th March, 2010 he met and briefed the following Groups – The Rivers State AC Executive, Womens Wing led by Dr. Mrs Edith, Youth Wing led by Mr Norisa Pepple, members of the Forum of the Organized Opposition Political Parties (FOOPP) comprising of 46 political parties led by Dr. Ikanya its Chairman; the Rivers State Hausa Community led by Alh. Musa Saidu, Chairman of the Rivers State AREWA Consultative Forum, Leadership of the various Markets Women and Motor Parks in Port Harcourt, PMAN, AC Chapter Chairmen in the 23 Local Government Areas, Clergy led by Bishop (Dr) Boma Lawson of West African Mission and Rev. (Dr) Ugoh Amadi, Technocrats, Professionals, Artisans, Stakeholders led by Chief Lavender Longjohn, Elders etc. He concluded his sensitization drive with the leadership of the South-South Forum comprising various political leaders from Bayelsa led by Mr. Miriki Ebikibina; Akwa Ibom led by Comrade David Ekanem, AK CNPP Chairman and Cross River State led Comrade Cletus Obunu CRS CNPP Chairman.

The Groups gave their blessing to the new initiative of the NDM and stated their willingness to fall behind the Prince in support of whatever the NDM will metamorphose into as far as he is there. They all promised to ensure that the Movement takes a firm root within the region. Below are some of the resolutions reached by the groups.

1. All the Groups including the Organised opposition parties passed a motion supporting and embracing the whole concept and spirit of the NDM.

II. They also mandated the Prince to represent and defend the interest of all the Groups in the whole NDM arrangement.

III. They called on the NDM to emulate the ideals and the initiative of the Prince in forming FOOPP comprising of 46 political parties in Rivers State by reaching out to more political parties and stakeholders with a view to assemble a formidable force to confront the PDP.

IV. They called on the leader Prince Tonye Princewill and the leadership of NDM as presently constituted to prevail on the Rivers state Action Congress to allow for a level playing field for intending members of the NDM.

V. They pleaded to be carried along and more involved in the NDM not just as individuals or as states but as a region.

Comrade Cletus Obunu who spoke on behalf of the four South-South States in attendance, Bayelsa, Rivers, CRS and Akwa Ibom assure Prince Tonye Princewill of their continued support and promised to effectively mobilize back in their various states.

In his discussions with the various groups, Prince Tonye Princewill articulated the importance for every group to understand that the period of relegating affairs pertaining to the South - South region to the background in the Nation's polity is a thing of the past. To achieve this, he said there is a need to, “take our destiny into our hands, since no other region can fight our cause better than we can”. He further reiterated the need to unite as a common force to be relevant in the political vehicle that is poised to sweep out the disaster that is PDP. He reminded everyone that the main reason why this step is different from previous attempts aside from the calibre of persons involved is that for the first time the process of respecting people's mandate will begin from within internal democracy is the watchword in this new Movement. Nigerians should forget the insinuation going on in some quarters that either Alhaji 'A' or Mr. 'B' has been selected to fly the flag of the new Movement as everybody interested in any political office within the new Movement will be subjected to the will of members and Nigerians in general. We are in it to assure that our country is respected all over the world as a democratic nation.

In appreciation to all the Groups, Prince Tonye Princewill thanked them for the confidence reposed in him and assured them that he will continue to do his best to make sure all interests are represented in the scheme of things by ensuring that their views and feelings are captured in the plan of actions of NDM.

A minute's silence was observed before and after each meeting as a mark of respect for the victims (mainly defenceless women and children) of the recent Jos massacre. Rivers state AC wonders how so many innocents can simply disappear like the wind without a care in the world. Is security of lives and property no longer the preserve of government? Can we not assure the future of our country rested in our children and in our mothers of being able to go to sleep and wake up in basic security? Our leader was bred in Jos and lived in its outskirts in his early years. By implication this means that he could have been one of those children or one of those children could be him. What kind of Nigeria are we building?

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
Rivers State AC Publicity Secretary