By eze chukwuemeka

An additional 15 political parties have formally joined forces with the Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill led Coalition of Opposition Parties, in what appears to be a consolidation of the entire opposition in Rivers state. This brings to 33, the number of parties in the now aggregated opposition team under the Prince's leadership with parties like NDP, NSDP, UNPP, DPA, BNPP, RPN, LDPN, DA, ADC, FDP, ANPP, FRESH, PAC, NPCN and MRDD now taking their cue from AC.

Whilst talk of a mega party is on at the national level here in Rivers state the opposition has exceeded all expectations and gone further to define both the direction and the style of proactive opposition.

In a well-attended event in Port Harcourt, the 14 Political Parties through their various State Chairmen addressed the press and acknowledged the prowess and leadership trait of the 'new breed' in Rivers State politics, Prince Tonye Princewill; the Rivers State AC Leader.

Previously, On 8th April, 2009 in Port Harcourt, the Coalition of opposition political parties in Rivers State comprising of 18 Political Parties led by Chief Harry Alaye, State Chairman of National Advance Party took the decisive and bold step of opening the floodgate of political parties clamouring for the adoption of Prince Tonye Princewill as the rallying point/helmsman of opposition in Rivers State.

In adopting Princewill as their Leader, Chief Alaye and his G18 stated thus, “Our decision to identify with Prince Tonye Princewill though a hard one considering political permeability options in the State is the most plausible at this time of our earnest desire for the emancipation and reversal of fortunes of our great State”. To this Group, Prince Tonye Princewill is the “embodiment of our collective zeal, fanaticism and resoluteness to ensure the freedom of our people from the shackles of nepotism, poverty and modern day slavery all legacies from past administrations in the State. Prince Tonye Princewill's antecedents; political sagacity and foresightedness demonstrate that we might just as well have found the 'Joshua' that has eluded us thus far in our collective search for a suitable Guide to the promise land. His total commitment to the rapid development of our State through his hands on involvement in various government driven initiatives to attract foreign and local investors through the Private Public Participation of this administration is no longer in doubt”.

Today, Dr M.B. Dagogo Jack ; gubernatorial Candidate of Fresh Democratic Party in the 2007 gubernatorial election in Rivers State and Vice Chairman of CNPP in Rivers State who read the statement for the 15 Political Parties under the auspices of Organised Opposition Political Parties (OOPP) in Rivers State that joined the train stated, “Prince Tonye Princewill is today our Leader as he stands out as a unique study and rallying point in positive and constructive political opposition in the Nigerian political system. He further stated, “We are taking this step under the premise that Rivers State belongs to us all, regardless of our differences in political opinions, ideology or school. Another proven point is that Prince Tonye Princewill the Rivers State AC Leader and the Prince of Niger Delta politics has by his antecedents and sagacity proved that he is the undisputable Leader of the opposition in Rivers State and this fact is not in contention. This assumption is based on his various contributions and for influencing both foreign and local investments to the State and most importantly has by his constructive opposition and inputs strengthened the opposition in the State which has ultimately has enhanced good governance in Rivers State. Based on all these, we the Leaders and members of these great political parties today the 23rd of April 2009 have resolved to identify with the aspirations of Gov Amaechi whilst working under the helmsmanship of Prince Tonye Princewill, the Rivers State AC Leader in our concerted efforts to strengthen the opposition and ultimately governance in Rivers State.

This overwhelming support has hopefully laid to rest any doubt about the popularity and acceptance of the Prince of Niger Delta Politics as the rallying point of opposition in Rivers State.

Prince Tonye Princewill who was attending an Economic Forum on the South South in Calabar, on receipt of the news, responded promptly via text. He expressed his feelings of appreciation at the overwhelming support for and endorsement of his brand of politics by such great and seasoned Politicians. Whilst humbled by this development, he reiterated the need for total involvement by all involved, since this honour comes with the added responsibility on his part to ensure that he justifies the confidence reposed on him by this singular honour. He assured his peers that he would continue to avail himself for service in the bid to lead a team through their parley with the present administration, move the state to the next level.

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