Prince Tonye Princewill, a governorship aspirant in oil-rich Rivers State, has been crying foul since what he described as ‘compromised’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward congress was heldon Saturday, November. He was one of the 16 governorship aspirants who boycotted the exercise, accusing First Lady, Patience Jonathan, of meddling in the affairs of the party to favour a former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike. On Thursday, he released a statement alleging that Wike is working with Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to undermine the fortunes of the PDP in the state.
Below is the statement in full:
Before I go into the reasons why, let me start by congratulating the President for the best declaration I have ever seen in Nigeria. The organisation could have done with some improvements but the delivery and the content were amazing. For those who know me, they know I am usually very conservative in my marking. Even when my “friend from before” Amaechi was still close to me, the best score he got was a 6/10. On Tuesday the President got an 8. Nobody has ever extracted an 8 from me, even for a singular event. The President did that. In spite of the cowardly actions of the Boko Haram the day before, he didn’t lose focus. He kept his eyes on the ball. A feat both them and the APC did not expect. Since the conclusion of that momentous event, many others have been singing his praises. So I will not attempt to occupy that space today, I will rather focus on my state.
I have always been suspicious of Wike and Amaechi; they always represented the old guard. The analogue politicians. Bullies who know no other way. Men who by their DNA believe in their way or the highway, that women should be seen not heard and Ijaw expression must be contained. That is why ever since the fight between them started, I have neither been comfortable or matter of fact about it. If any of you think that their fight is too elaborate to be staged, think again. I know it isn’t. Amaechi is not a fool, neither is Wike. They have learnt from their masters and understand more than most the benefit of foresight. I can go into some of the schemes they have plotted before now or similar examples of ‘politricks’, but we don’t have the time. Take it from me, village sense is still sense.
Take a closer look at how we got here. In 2007, Amaechi entered five months after every other Governor but in 2011 he stood for primaries at the same time as every other Governor. Why? A judgement was given in an Abuja court that made this possible. Was it coincidence? No. Amaechi knows his way around the courts and with the money at their disposal, both Wike and he are not the kind you take unawares. If Amaechi had contested his election five months after the other PDP Governors, he would have lost the primaries. If you don’t believe me, ask Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa. So how come the judgement that brought in the Obuah-led PDP exco came to him as a surprise? You honestly believe Amaechi did not see it coming? How come reasonable attempts at making peace were met with unreasonable responses? How has Wike been financing himself and the party on his Minister’s salary or his Ministry’s budget? Think about it. Nigerians are smart people. Politicians are not fools. Even when they are, they can hire smart people. Something does not add up.
Moving on. Have you not noticed that the blows they are throwing at each other are simply not commensurate with the perceived hate? It is more like two boxers sparring in preparation for another fight than two men truly fighting each other with the intent to bring the other man down. They have enough information on each other to bury each other’s political careers, yet they haven’t done it. Why? I can go on and on as to why I believe we are all characters in a play that has been scripted to make us look like fools. Hard evidence can be found if people bother to look well. The problem is nobody is looking. I expect that this will soon change. Let those who tell you that Wike is the best person to fight Amaechi look well. Are you sure? 2015 is a battle of ideas. Analoguevs. Digital. Not carry go. Unlike some conspiracy theorists, I do not believe it is an Ikwerre agenda, because many Ikwerres are not subscribers to it. It is an anti-Jonathan, anti-PDP, anti-Rivers agenda and we are all meant to be the fools. I for one refuse to be one.
I know I am not alone in this. Others may be thinking it too. The difference is I know the players, their capacity for scheming and I am several steps ahead of them too. I speak now because the capacity of our people to be fooled amazes me. Gossip and side talks have taken over sound reasoning and better judgement. I will personally lead the fight against this agenda to ensure it does not succeed. If you cannot see what the intention is for 2015 and the Rivers State election, I will give you a hint. Wike is not designed to win. They know that carry go will not work. For an Amaechi/APC agenda to fly, a strong anti-PDP sentiment is required. Enter Wike. That is where we are already.
In my last statement, I said the grass would reject both Wike and Amaechi. Now you know why I said that. I also said PDP needs to open their eyes. To the leadership I say,let this not happen under your watch. If you do not know, the emergence of Wike will produce a backlash that will alienate at least 16 aspirants if not more. The party will lose not only them, they will also lose their supporters. Not only because of the product of Wike but the process of his emergence. You have less than a week to act. After then, it will be too late. I think this would be a good opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I will never be contemplating joining the APC. Suggestions as to me defecting there are not only frivolous and ridiculous, they are ludicrous. Anti-Wike is not pro-APC. Quote me. For the record, my PDP Nomination/Intent forms have been filled and submitted at the PDP national headquarters in Abuja. Once again, without fanfare.
Let me end this statement on a positive note. Not up to a week ago, we launched an online appeal for contributions from ordinary citizens. I highlighted that the more the politicians fund themselves, the more they steal and the more they are compromised. I asked them to donate a minimum of N1000 to my campaign, either via my website www.tonyeprincewill.com or direct into my campaign account Zenith – 1004681237. I asked them to take a stake in what we represent. Donations are still coming in from youth corpers, market women, APC members, APGA members, university lecturers and even those who don’t like politics. We raised N2.9 million in the first 24 hours and at this rate, we are expected to break previous records for crowd funding by any state politician who is not occupying office. I want to thank all of you who have sacrificed your comfort for me and I assure you that your money will not only not go to waste, it will produce results. My faith is in God. My constituency is you.
God bless Rivers State,
God bless the Niger Delta,
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Prince Tonye Princewill