By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
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Prince Tonye TJT Princewill the Rivers State Action Congress (AC) Leader and Prince of Niger Delta Politics after careful and critical review of the on-going carnage in Niger Delta sent in this statement resigning his Chairmanship of the FG Vision 2020 Sub Committee on the Niger Delta –

“Earlier today I tendered my resignation as the Chairman of the FG vision 2020 subcommittee on the Niger Delta in response to the recent developments in the region and as a way of expressing my deep concern for the future direction of our country. Having spent time with the technical committee on the Niger Delta as set up by the Presidency and devoted many years before then to showing our people that there is a better way, my optimism peeked at the realisation that the end of the impasse was nigh and the dark days of militancy would soon give way to a new dawn of hope, prosperity and peace built on the foundations of justice, fairness and equity. Despite the increasing criminalisation of the legitimate discontent of the people accompanied with the apparent nonchalance on the part of the Federal Government, I again jumped at the chance to play a role in furthering a positive Niger Delta strategy under the Vision 2020 initiative again of the same Federal Government. All this was not because of a lack of things to do but for a love of my country and of my people that made service to either simply a matter of duty. It was never about Yar'Adua.

Unfortunately the recent decimation of riverside communities and the displacement of so many innocent people with the ease of an executive order is the straw that broke the camel's back and has left me feeling that not all hands are on deck and not all parties sincere in the creation of a region and a country we can all be proud of. For me to continue to Chair and chart the course for the blueprint of a Niger Delta region come 2020 is no longer tenable and will be not only like the proverbial pissing in the wind but an exercise in futility as the recipients have demonstrated a clear inability to listen on the one hand and a clear resolve to go it alone on the other. Violence begets violence. This is a message for all sides to ponder. For genuine peace to reign dialogue and understanding is the only route we can follow. The actions of the past few days have made it an even harder road to pursue and the prospect of genuine peace and reconciliation an even more distant memory. If we are to achieve anything from this debacle it is how not to use power. The actions of a few cannot and should not be used an excuse to visit injustice on the many. Today it is the entire people of Gbaramatu Kingdom not just some of them who are suffering. For those who don't appreciate the magnitude of this and opt to stay silent just remember that tomorrow it could be you.

My thoughts at this time remain firmly with the families of the people who have lost their lives and the many women and children who have been forcibly displaced through no fault of their own. I want to appeal to the aid agencies and various tiers of government to come to their aid. It is at moments like this that we must remember we are witnessing human beings at their most vulnerable. Every little will help. We all must stand by them not just in our words but also in our actions. In the meantime we will watch to see what the Federal Government does over the next few days before taking our next line of action. Fight not just crime but the causes of crime and when you do, work to preserve life not destroy it.

The Rivers State Chairman, Hon, Badey Suage on receipt of this historical mail stated; “The decision of our Leader at this period of tribulation for our people shows that we still have Leaders who are truly Leaders of their people. We are proud and will ever be proud of all the principles this gift to our State stands for as we stand with him to surmount this unwarranted onslaught on our people”.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Rivers State Action Congress, Publicity Secretary