PRINCEWILL STORMS YOLA- RECEIVE TACIT ENDORSEMENT FROM THE TURAKI
On 31st May 2009, Prince Tonye Princewill the Rivers State AC Leader stormed Adamawa State, honouring the invitation from the former Vice President of Nigeria and the National Leader of AC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to attend the inaugural convocation ceremony of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola. He attended the epoch making event with a 30man Delegation that included the Rivers State Commissioner for Urban Development, Barr Osima Ginah and his Special Duties counterpart, Dr. Ibiamu Davies, Chief Williams Igweh, the SA on Intra-party Affairs to Gov. Amaechi and the Deputy Leader of RS AC the three key actors of the Political opposition to the PDP Led Government in Rivers State. Others in attendance with the Prince, were Elder Allen, the Chairman of Rivers State AC Elders Council, Dr. Mrs. Edith Wele, Rivers State AC Women Leader, Mr. Okis Bob-Manuel, State Secretary of RS AC, Mr. Norisa Pepple, Youth Leader of RS AC, Barr. Iyke Echie, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the harmonised 45 opposition political parties in Rivers State, Hon. Garshon Benson the Chairman of the Harmonisation Committee of 45 opposition political parties in Rivers State, Comrade Victor Ebikibina Miriki the outspoken Secretary and Spokesperson of Bayelsa AC, Chief Eze C Eze, RS AC Publicity Secretary among others.
At the event, honorary Doctorate degrees where conferred on distinguished personalities that included Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Arch. Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, HRH, Dr. Aliyu Mustapha the Lamido of Adamawa; for their various contributions to the success of the University. The Prince of Niger Delta Politics was also in attendance at the dinner that held immediately after the convocation, where he made a donation of one million Naira towards the growth of the University.
Before he departed Yola with his Team, he paid a formal courtesy call on his mentor and Leader Alhaji Atiku at his residence. At the event, Price Tonye Princewill presented an update of the various activities within the Rivers State AC, including the recent decision taken by the opposition coalition to support him to forge a united, virile and vibrant opposition in Rivers State after which, the Chairman of the Harmonisation Committee that midwifed the harmonisation of 45 registered political parties in Nigeria under that auspicious of Forum of Organised Opposition Political Parties in Rivers State (FOOPP) under the Prince's leadership, was formally presented to Alh. Atiku.
In addition, he also gave Turaki an indepth analysis of the current mayhem in the Niger Delta region, whilst acquainting him with the reasons for his resignation as the Chairman of the FG Vision 2020 Sub Committee on Niger Delta. He implored Atiku to be a rallying point of leaders who would bear the burden of responsibility to ensure that peace return to the Niger Delta Region.
His great regard for the Turaki was adequately captured in the following statement ; “My Leader and mentor, the respect that I have for you, made it expedient for me to cut short my engagements in the UK to honour your invitation to this eventful inaugural convocation. Through the American University of Nigeria, your vision and concern for the enhancement of education in Nigeria may very well soon become a reality. I must confess that after taking a tour of the University Campus and seeing firsthand the structures and edifice in place, I wonder that Nigerians still seek any form of tertiary education outside our shores.
I am here with some of the leaders of the opposition in Rivers State to formally congratulate you and express our heartfelt gratitude for this commendable stride of yours in education that we know without a doubt will bring back the much needed credibility to our educational sector. I will like to reiterate that if most of our leaders have the type of mindset as you do, we as a nation will at the very least be poised to emerge from the current state of abysmal decay that we currently face across the different sectors of our economy”.
The National Leader of AC, Alh. Atiku Abubakar in his response was full of encomiums for his political son and Protégé and reiterated his belief that with the likes of Prince Tonye at the helms of affairs, the failure of their generation which he wholeheartedly acknowledged would be adequately redressed. He empathized with the trauma of the Niger Delta people in the light of the current mayhem unleashed on them, and assured all present of his decision to personally intervene to restore sanity and peace to the Region. He maintained that dialogue is still the best option of addressing such conflict.
With regard to any 2011 ambitions, he stated that Nigerians and his party would determine his faith.
Earlier in the day, the Team from Rivers State was in Yola District Headquarters of the Redeemed Peoples' Mission (RPM), Yola where they thanked God for His mercies and love for the Niger Deltans. Rev. Livinus Obi the District Superintendent of the Church later prayed for the Team and the entire region, that peace should reign and that that which God deposited in the region shall be a blessing to Nigeria and not a curse.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Rivers State Action Congress, Publicity Secretary