Princewill: From PDP Registration to Voter Registration

On Saturday10 July, 2010 Dr. Davies Ikanya Ibiamu, the Commissioner for Special Duties, at the Muriela Hotel in Port Harcourt, led the leadership of the Princewill Political Associates (PPA) to discuss the issue of the PDP registration exercise in Rivers State. The significance of that meeting was the highlight of the various ways the group could contribute its quota in reengineering or repositioning the PDP in the state. Prince Tonye Princewill, the leader of the group, said that he had contacted many PDP stalwarts and that they assured him that none of his members would be denied registration. So, Princewill urged the PPA members to register. He vowed that if they were denied registration then he would put his leg to know the reason.

In the same manner, Princewill’s unassuming love for democracy moved him to his native town of Buguma in the Asaru/Toru LGA on Feb. 4, 2011 where he met with the King of the area on the issue of the voter registration exercise. King TJT Princewill was overwhelmed for the visit. Those that accompanied Princewill included Dr. Ikanya, the Chairman of the PPA and the Hon. Commissioner of Special Duties in the Rivers State Government; Bar Osima Ginah, the Secretary and Commissioner for Urban Development; Rev Dr. Ugo Amaechi, the Coordinator of the pastors’ wing of the PPA; Dr. Mrs. Edith Wele, the Leader of the Women Group; Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Media Consultant of PPA, among other leaders of the group.

While King Princewill was overwhelmed for the visit, Prince Tonye Princewill who is also the Prince of the Kalabari Kingdom thanked the King and described him as a father to him in more ways than one. He lacked words to express his acknowledgement of the King’s benevolence, but he thanked the King for receiving him and his entourage at a very short notice without much protocol.

Without much emphasis, it is in the news that King TJT Princewill is the first Professor to be anointed a King in Rivers State and also the first Kalabari King to head the Rivers State Traditional Council of Chiefs. Tonye said of the King thus: “I owe all that I am today to this great and unassuming man who saw the wisdom that I should have the best of education as my foundation. His Majesty, I am here today, not necessarily as your son, but as a politician with an unflinching desire to make a difference in the politics of our state and the nation at large… I am here to make sure that our Kingdom mobilised to register and vote for Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State, not because he is my brother and friend, but because his revolutionary crusade in our state must continue. If he is re-elected, then all the good sons and daughters of Rivers State (no non-indigenes?) must not only support him in words, but in deeds by registering to have the power to re-elect him…”

The Prince used the opportunity to announce the increase in the number of beneficiaries of the current Amanyanabo of Kalabari scholarship scheme that over 150 students from the 23 LGAs would benefit from. He donated a bus to the youths (to be used by them) to generate funds to cater for themselves.

No doubt, the PPA has become an object in ensuring the viability of Rivers State politics and Nigeria’s democracy. It has been impacting on the lives of all Nigerians whilst strengthening the democratic principles in our polity. According to Dr. Ikanya sometime ago, the essence of the association would be further appreciated if they could set target of one million registered members for the party. The group sees the effective grassroots mobilization as the key. In working closely with the PDP, he had said that they should ensure that all efforts are collaborative and compliment that of the PDP officials. He emphatically had stated that they should cooperate and ensure a mutual respect of each other in other to work amicably to ensure a successful exercise.

These positive developments Tonye Princewill has brought in Rivers State and in other areas, according to the Dr. Ikanya, was as a result of the direct intervention of the likes Chief Nyesom Wike, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry, Speaker House of Assembly and Dakuku Peterside, Hon. Commissioner for Works, who held strategic meetings with the Coordinators and PDP Officials in some LGAs in 2010. Chief Nyesom Wike in one of the meetings he held with stakeholders in a LGA, when Princewill was about to rejoin the PDP from the AC, had stated thus: “Nobody should attempt to frustrate and act as a hurdle to discourage or obstruct Prince Tonye Princewill and his people or any other person for that matter from rejoining the party as they do not only bring more people to the party but would hopefully add value to the party. The PDP umbrella is big enough to harbour all Nigerians. And if we are to rebuild and democratize the PDP the way we all desire, then we need the likes of Prince Tonye Princewill and his followers in our fold.”

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