By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

Following the recent retreat of the Rivers State AC Leadership held in Lagos from 12-14th February, 2010 where Prince Tonye Princewill, the Rivers State AC Leader presented his 8 point Agenda tagged 'My Pact, Mission & Vision For A Greater Rivers State' exploring his strategy on the Economy, Education, Health, Agriculture, Housing, Transportation, Environment and Public Utilities, Works and Infrastructure aimed at arresting and turning around the fortunes of Rivers State, opponents have reacted by developing a three pronged strategy to muzzle him and force him and his lieutenants into strait jackets.

The three pronged strategy code named 'Operation Destroy TP and Amaechi' adopted in no particular order are – 1. Assassination 2. Destruction of the fiber of the state chapter of the party and subsequently hijack its machinery. 3. Media War to mar and malign the integrity and personalities of the leadership of opposition in Rivers State and the Government of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.

We have it on good authority that to achieve this dastardly agenda to assassinate Prince Tonye Princewill and his lieutenants, some militants who were recently granted amnesty have been recruited by some opposition leaders in the state to carry out the plot, while some key former actors of Rivers State AC are to be used to destabilize and hijack the Rivers State AC Chapter to destabilise the administration of Gov. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

The first attempt was made on the life of Dr Ibiamu Ikanya, the Chairman of the Forum of Organized Opposition Political Parties in Rivers State and Honourable Commissioner in charge of Special Duties when in a meeting Golf Prince Hotel in old GRA Port Harcourt on 28th November, 2009, a known militant by name George Adumu and three others was accosted while attempting to assassinate Dr Ikanya. These militants are still under Court custody and their case comes up today at Court 15 in Port Harcourt.

A recent petition by Mr. Hope Don Pedro an AC Chieftain in Rivers State to the police through his Lawyer Barr A.L.Ogolo of N.Gillis-Harry & Co further throws light on this issue. In the petition, he stated that Ogbo Mmuen Kpagana, Elder G.T.Tubonemi and Rev. Amoni Fiberesima and others without permission and approval of the Rivers State AC Leadership usurped positions and powers of the party to circulate Notice of Meeting of party members on 19th February, 2010 with the sole aim of causing disaffection, instigating crisis within the party and laying out plans for the assassination of the Rivers State AC Leader, Prince Tonye Princewill and Barr. Osima Ginah, Honourable Commissioner of Urban Development. The PDP in the state will then be blamed for after the act is executed.

Based on the petition, the Police swung into action and got the trio arrested at the venue of the meeting at the Railway Close in Port Harcourt on 19th February, 2010 and they are still being interrogated by the Police.

The obvious implication of the above is that the unity of purpose and peace in Rivers State engendered by the partnership between the opposition parties with PDP would have been truncated and shattered by these self seeking politicians working for their masters behind the scene.

An outright Media war has also began with no less than ten seasoned Journalists recruited to turn the heat on Prince Tonye Princewill and the Government of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi. According to one of such journalists, “the ever rising profile of the Prince has become a threat in many quarters and there was every reason to cut him down to size..”. To this end a lot of documents are being assembled to be used to write fictitious petitions and articles that are inimical not only to Prince Tonye Princewill but also the Government of Rt.Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.

The latest of such onslaughts was the glaring headline of a Port Harcourt based tabloid, National Network, 'N.5M Scam, Prince Tonye Princewill Arrested in PH' The malicious, slanderous, libelous, and defamatory report is an art of yellow journalism in its most banal and crudest form. The report states that Prince Tonye Princewill was arrested by the Police in an unnamed Hotel in Port Harcourt based on a tipoff to the Police because of a petition written by UBA in respect of an unserviced loan. The publisher of the paper had sought for clarification and we had given him the details of the transactions and requested that he visit the Hospital road Branch of UBA to get the proper perspective of the situation and that there is no petition from UBA against the Prince in any form and that the Prince is not owing UBA a kobo and was never arrested in any form by the Police but instead of stating the facts; he preferred to satisfy his pay masters by publishing utter falsehood against an innocent Prince in the name of politics.

Prince Tonye Princewill being the law abiding citizen he honoured the invitation of the state CID Port Harcourt on the 22nd February 2010 to come and clarify details of the said petition written by one Mrs Sotonye who was at a time the Branch Manager of UBA, Hospital Road Nwabuoku who wanted to use the name of the Prince as a decoy to put off the pressure from those she is indebted to. It is on record that the Prince drove himself to the State CID, also on record is the fact that he had to wait for about 30minutes for the Officer in charge of the petition to come to the office to take his statement and after about thirty minutes he drove himself out of the Station so where did the Publisher of National Network got his fact that he was arrested in a Hotel and detained? It is also a fact that can be corroborated that Prince Tonye drove himself to the VIP wing of the International Airport Omagwa, Port Harcourt the same day from where he left for Abuja to attend an NDM meeting where he is an active member.

One can only wonder where such dastardly facts as portrayed in the paper emanated from. The Prince in reading the fabricated report was not only shocked at such falsehood, but has also requested his Lawyer, Barr Obaye-Ekine to write the Publisher of the National Network to retract the said publication and also write a published apology letter within one week or be ready to substantiate his claims in a law court.

Barr Osima Ginah the Hon. Commissioner of Urban Development and one of the appointees in Amaechi's Administration and one of those earmarked to be assassinated described the whole scenario as sad and unfortunate. “I am aware that some militants have been recruited to assassinate me and Prince Tonye Princewill based on the outcome of the meeting of Kpagane and those behind his Group but that fact remains that we are not deterred as no force of intimidation and threats to our lives will deter us from carrying out the emancipation of the Rivers State people. I and Tonye are clean in all our dealings and we know the cross of playing opposition politics and the Prince can't be involved in any act of criminality inimical or mar or malign his esteemed name both as a reputable Prince of the Kalabari Kingdom and as the Leader of the Organised Opposition in Rivers State but most importantly the trust reposed on him by the masses of the Rivers State people so if this is how politics is to be played we are ever ready to confront our opponents with clean hands and God be on our side we will overcome them”.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
Rivers State AC Publicity Secretary.