By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

In an unprecedented political manoeuvre and a rare act of adherence to the core principles of democracy, Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of the Federation on the 6th of April at a meeting held at the Protea Hotel Abuja, placed the final decision of his desire to rejoin the fold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the hands of his political associates. The decider exercise was done shortly after a presentation by those mandated to tour the various political zones to take poll and sample opinions of both stakeholders and associates of Atiku with regards to his monumental decision to return to the fold of the PDP, a party for which he is credited as being a foundation member.

Considering the hue and cries that have accompanied reports of his planned move in the media, the decision in support of his movement to PDP by his associates and stakeholders alike, was unanimous coming at the heels of a historical motion moved by Chief Titi Ajanaku, onetime Special Adviser on Women Affairs to the former President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo and supported by Chief Ejiofor Onyie from Delta State, urging members to support the movement of Atiku Abubakar to PDP based on the positive reports and feedback from the various Zones polled.

With this decision, two representatives from the six geopolitical zones were instructed to draft a letter to the Acting President and Leader of the Party, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck with copies to the Chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor. Prince Tonye Princewill and Chief Peter Okocha were signatories to the historical document representing the South-South Region.

The impact of this development on the Rivers State AC and its Leader, Prince Tonye Princewill who has led the Rivers State AC to its laudable position as a formidable player in the strategic partnership with the incumbent PDP in Rivers State need not be overemphasized. It is noteworthy to point out that in the cause of deliberations, interactions and consultations on Atiku's move held with Prince Tonye Princewill, majority of the members gave their full support for any plan that would include the absorption of the RSAC into the PDP.

This notwithstanding the Leader of the Rivers State AC, Princewill speaking at the end of the event, insisted that as much as he and members have given their unflinching support to Atiku Abubakar so far, he will still continue in consultation with members of his chapter in regard to his status in the unfolding polity. He also appealed to all Nigerians to trust and give Atiku Abubakar all the necessary support required to turn around the fortunes of the PDP which at the end will hopefully put our nation on the right path to greatness and a make her a worthy example to other democratic nations. He further stated it took a lot to convince Atiku Abubakar to take this step for the interest of Nigerians and our unfolding democratic development and now that he has accepted, I sincerely appeal to all Nigerians to assist and encourage him to turn around the fortunes of PDP for the greatness of our country and generations coming behind us.

Prince Tonye Princewill, regarded in the South-South as the face of organized opposition in his capacity as Leader of the Rivers State AC and the Forum of Organized Opposition Political Parties (FOOPP) that include 46 political parties, has in a short period prove his political sagacity and commitment to Nation building. It would be recalled that Chief Dr. Bisi Akande the National Chairman of AC during the last NEC meeting of AC held in Benin, Edo State described the Princewill led Rivers State AC as the most outstanding Chapter in the country having met all party obligations and urged other Chapters to emulate the Chapter.

With this new twist in the political landscape in Nigeria the Prince and his Chapter now find themselves at crossroads even as the majority of Nigerians keenly watch the developments in the State. The next few weeks will surely be tasking on the Prince and the National Leadership of AC as deliberations and consultations progress as to the next step of action.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Publicity Secretary, Rivers State AC