Prince Tonye Princewill the former Leader of AC and its gubernatorial candidate in the 2007 general elections in Rivers State speaking on his arrival from his London base after a short break at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos described Atiku Abubakar, Senator Bola Tinubu and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi as the best politicians in Nigeria today after the exits of the great sages like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Tafewa Belwa among others. “I must state that I have watched and worked closely with these great minds and can tell you this, I would hate to be on the other side of any of these men. These three giants apart from being warriors are the best political tacticians you can think of in our politics today. In terms of hierarchy; next to Atiku, Tinubu is the best politician I know, Amaechi follows closely behind. Look at what Tinubu is doing in the South West pocketing the almighty Obasanjo in that zone. Though he is in the opposition, he has proven his worth and mettle. Come to Rivers State and you will know that Amaechi is not an ordinary Governor. For changing the fortunes and landscape of Rivers State in less than four years is an assiduous task and challenge for any other politician to equal, he is the master and he is in control that is why I laugh at the funny attempt by Dr. Abiye Sekibo and a few others not knowing that the politics of Rivers State has gone digital and is now no longer analog which they are used to and that is why they are finding it extremely difficult to catch up with the supersonic speed Amaechi is going. Since our exist from the opposition camp in the politics of the State, opposition in the State can only be described as non existence or noticed only in the pages of newspapers or on some miserable posters pasted in some awkward places in the State Capital and not actually in the political field of the State.

On Atiku the master of all, not minding the misconception in some quarters about his candidature and my role as the Prince of Niger Delta Politics and not minding the outcome of the PDP primaries, “it is Nigerians that lost the primaries not Atiku Abubakar. This is a man whose vision and preparedness to give Nigeria and Nigerians the best of leadership is hard to be found among our present leadership. With hindsight the words of Amaechi my friend and brother have now come home to roost. “It is the Governors that will decide who is the next President. While I admit that the tone of Atiku's speech on that day may have been a bit caustic, I would urge people to reflect on it. Atiku echoed the mind of anybody who really loves Nigeria. It takes men to confront the system. And the system needs confronting. Mr. President himself must appreciate this.”

On the future and the role Atiku may play, “Only he can answer that. Atiku is methodical and even though in his mind he probably knows already what he needs to do, he will consult, weigh his options and take a position that will suit Nigeria and his political base. That includes me. If he announces a position without consulting little me, I know it is not Atiku. That is the manner of the man. I must say that I was disappointed in the outcome of the primaries and I am even tempted to say we overlooked certain things but with hindsight, the gang up against Atiku was an executive one and it started in his own state and in his own zone. That tells me that there was nothing that I or anyone could have done. If your own brother stabs you in the back, well, enough said. Let him consult and let President Goodluck do likewise.”

On the future of democracy in Nigeria and the way to water it, the Prince of Niger Delta Politics echoed; “As a democrat, I will like to see a situation where ACN, CPC, Labour and ANPP unite to offer an alternative to PDP in this election. I want the people to have a choice. But my fear is the politics of it. The idea is good but can they, will they, have they got what it takes to make a success of it on the field? For them to achieve this, several men and women will need to sit around a table without sleep between now and the election. They will need to love themselves and put country and state before self. Finally they will need to systematically educate the electorate and rationalise candidates. If they do this PDP will have a problem. But will they? Now is a good a time as any but my experience tells me they will not”.

On the hiccups witnessed in the ongoing Voter registrations, the Prince stated from the reports I have gotten by my people in the field, most of those hiccups have either being arrested or sorted out and with the extension by INEC, no patriotic Nigerian will have any excuse for not registering. We must wisely utilize this extension and ensure that Nigerians of age register to participate in the incoming revolution where votes shall count for the first time in our politics. I have directed the Leadership of Princewill Political Associates (PPA) to ensure that all our members are mobilized to register and without voter's card no member will benefit from the Group in any form. We must be seen as truly leading not necessarily by words but by deeds. I have read about some people finding it difficult to register in some parts of Abuja and parts of other States, I have directed my people to send about ten luxurious buses to Abuja to mobilize Rivers State people in Abuja and other parts of the country to come back home and register seeing that you don't spend about three minutes to register in any part of Rivers State. We will do everything within the law to ensure that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi is re-elected so as to avoid misguided and misplaced politicians hijacking the system to take us back to the ugly path from where we have previously tread and vowed to never walk again. This is our vow and commitment to our people and by the grace of God and the votes of our people we will collectively transform Rivers State to an ideal State in Nigeria the Prince echoed.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant, PPA.