By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The news of the death of President Yar'Adua on 5th May, 2010 came to us as a total shock as we hoped that he will come out of his sickness hale, hearty and stronger. But God in His infinite wisdom has decided to call him home to rest after the trauma he was forced to go through due to the dual complication of his health and the rigours of national leadership. He was a gentleman who in accepting that the election that brought him into power was flawed stood out as a patriot with a desire to make a difference in the type of nation, Obasanjo intended for us. It is a pity that despite his difficulties and a clear intention to leave office and return to the classroom, General Olusegun Obasanjo still foisted him on the nation while others were hell bent on keeping him there. We pray God to forgive them all.

We feel his death not just as painful but sad. It brings tears to us as a Chapter of a political party yes but most importantly as a people from a region he tried to make an impact on. He is on record as the most outstanding Head of State to have initiated programs toward alleviating the situation in the South-South region not minding that we provides the golden egg that sustains us as a nation. Through him he made it possible for us to have a Ministry of Niger Delta, he brought peace to our region through the Amnesty exercise to the militants, setting up of the Presidential Committee on Niger Delta led by Ledum Mittee, Vision 2020 sub-committee on Niger Delta, e.t.c. We share his concern for our people and pray God to grant eternal rest to this gentleman whose love and humanity was never in doubt.

Prince Tonye Princewill our leader called to express his deepest condolences to the Yar'Adua family, people of Katsina and the entire Nation. It will be recalled that the Prince who apart from being a member of the 40 man Presidential Committee on Niger Delta led by Mittee was appointed the Chairman of the Vision 2020 Sub-Committee on Niger Delta by President Yar'Adua but had to resign when the Federal Government declared war on some communities in the region in their misguided efforts then to subdue the militants. He phoned from his London base where he was invited to monitor the UK elections to expres his sadness over the death of President Yar;Adua. He described it as a monumental loss to the nation and a personal loss to himself. President Yar'Adua not minding the Prince's opposition views to many of the policies of the FG still appointed him into various Federal positions showing his disposition to merit and the best for our country. I mourn him and pray that God will give us all the fortitude to bear this great loss. We as a country must move on to give life to some of his legacies and make Nigeria truly great. As we condole with the new helmsman, President Jonthan Goodluck, we wish to state that Mr. President now can not have any excuse henceforth not to write his name in gold.

For us the priorities should remain Niger Delta, Power and Electoral Reform. We have seen the beginnings of the signs of positive change in Electoral Reform with the removal of the Iwu, an emphasis on Power with the state of emergency hanging over it and the recent report of the Presidential Advisory Committee stressing the need for diverse sources but very little in the area of the Niger Delta except a very noisy silence coupled with a lot of motion and no movement. The spotlight is now shining on Nigeria. If Yar'Adua can be praised for announcing amnesty Mr President should reflect on what great deeds he will claim if we get a leader who can finally consolidate it. A word is enough for the wise. We offer him two. Niger Delta. At the end of his tenure that is where he is going to.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Publicity Secretary, Rivers State AC