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PRINCE TONYE PRINCEWILL, RIVERS AC LEADER ACQUIRES ADDED POLITICAL INSIGHT AS HE CONCLUDES THREE DAY WHIRL WIND VISIT TO YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE.

By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
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From the 18th to 20th march, 2010, Prince Tonye Princewill, the Rivers State AC Leader was in Yola, the Capital of Adamawa State. His three day visit packed with events would no doubt remain indelible in his memory. He was in Yola primarily on a condolence visit to the National Leader of AC, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, the Turaki Adamawa and the people of the State over the sad demise of Dr. Aliyu Mustafa the Lamido of Adamawa State. Prince Tonye Princewill the scion of the Kalabari Kingdom's visit to Yola also coincided with the epochal turban ceremony of the new Lamido Adamawa, Dr. Barkindo Aliyu Mustafa an event he witnessed in the company of other dignitaries that included Gov Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, his Deputy, Mr Bala Ngillaro and members of the Adamawa State Executive Council. Also in attendance where the former Vice President Alh. Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of the defunct Gongola State, Alh Bamanga Tukur; former Governor of Katsina State; Alh Lawan Kaita; NDLEA Boss, Alh. Ahmed Giade; political chieftains like Hassan Adamu, Murtala Aminu, Koiranga Jada, Mahmud Wazari, Gambo Jimeta, Adamu Waziri and a host others

In a private exchange with the new Lamido Adamawa, Dr Aliyu Mustafa, Prince Tonye Princewill –who was introduced to the Lamido by Alh. Atiku- conveyed the condolences of the Party faithful in Rivers State in his capacity as political leader and also condolences on behalf of the Kalabari kingdom as scion of the reigning monarch HM Prof. T.J.T Princewill, Amayanabo of Kalabari. In a short statement, he prayed that Allah grant the late Lamido Dr. Aliyu Mustafa eternal rest, whilst granting members of the family, well wishers and the people of Adamawa the fortitude to bear the loss. He urged the new Lamido to follow the footsteps of the late Lamido who was a man of peace in his life time. He said the late Lamido was known for his religious tolerance, embracing Christians the same way he did Muslims and most importantly was a patriotic Nigerian Leader whose love for Southerners could not be overemphasized.

His Royal Highness, Dr. Barkindo Mustafa the newly turbaned Lamido Adamawa thanked the Prince for finding time to visit and promised that the Prince's visit will cement further the relationship between the North and the Southern part of the country. He enthused that “With prayer and God's support and blessing, I will do my best to live up to the peaceful virtues of my father the late Lamido”.

Later in the day, Prince Tonye visited the Turaki Adamawa, Alh. Atiku Abubakar in his Yola residence, where he formally delivered the condolence message from the Rivers State Chapter of the AC. He said he knew the demise was especially hard on the Turaki because of the camaraderie that existed between him and the late Lamido, a relationship that over time by its very nature earned him the office of Turakin Adamawa- which literary translation is “being in charge of the House Hold matters”-, a title which hitherto had been the preserve of the closest son of a reigning Lamido. He prayed that God will strengthen Alh Atiku to bear the irreparable loss.

Alh. Atiku Abubakar in his response thanked the Prince for his kind gesture. He said that the death was especially devastating because it had left a big vacuum in his heart. He recalled that he had considered the Late Lamido as his adoptive father following the early demise of his own birth father, whom he never knew. He recalled how the late Lamido stood by him during his trying times. He however said that he is consoled that in his place his brother and school mate, Dr Barkindo Musdafa had become the new Lamido.

and I am happy for it. Tonye, you are a lucky man, you are today participating in a historical event – the demise of the longest serving Monarch in Nigeria having reigned as the Lamido of Adamawa for 57 years the longest in the history of the Emirate and you are also witnessing the turbanning of a new Lamido Adamawa in the person of Dr. Barkindo Musdafa and I am convinced that all these happenings for you means a lot for the future of Nigeria”.

On the final day of his visit, the Prince embarked on a guided tour of some of the Industries in Yola that included the Faro Company, producers of Faro Water and soft drinks, the American University in Yola, Gotel Radio House. At the end of the tour, he applauded Atiku's entrepreneurial prowess, stating that “If other elites can establish such industries that touches the lives of ordinary man, Nigeria will be transformed. Nigeria needs transformational leaders who understand this message. Politics is too important to be left in the hands of career politicians.

He concluded by expressing his delight at the insights he had gained in the course of the three days. Praying that it would serve to shape his views about the Nation.

A closed door meeting was held later in the evening with Atiku and other political associates.

The Prince returned to his Port Harcourt base on the 22nd of March.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
Rivers State AC Publicity Secretary