The Day Port Harcourt Was Agog For Rivers AC
The herald started last year December when it became a rumour that the leader of the Action Congress (AC) chapter in Rivers State and a member of the Niger Delta Presidential Technical Committee, Prince Tonye TJT Princewill, were going to celebrate his 40th birthday. It becomes obvious that Franklin D Roosevelt had the likes of Tonye Princewill in mind when he wrote: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
That harbinger later became true as the city of Port Harcourt stood still for Princewill in what the party's Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze said thus: “In a three-day unprecedented action packed events, Prince Tonye TJT Princewill marked his 40th birthday ceremony in a style. The programme that lasted for three days from 2nd to 4th January, 2009 started with a Lecture on 2nd January 2009 at the Hotel Presidential; Port Harcourt titled The Challenge of Nationhood and the Role of the Newbreed delivered by the Chairman of the Niger Delta Technical Committee and President of MOSOP, Mr. Ledum Mittee.”
It was further noted that “The programme chaired by Alh. Umaru Shinkaffi was attended by great minds in politics, academia, civil society, Royal Fathers and Captains of Industries. It was a gathering of all those that matters in the politics and economy of the Niger Delta region with their friends from other regions in the country.”
From all the walks of life, it was gathered that, “Ambassador Segun Olushola, Chief Abiodu Aremu, Dr. Frederick Fasheun the Founder of Odua Peoples Congress and others represented the Yorubas. Alh. Umaru Shinkaffi erstwhile Director General National Security and his rich entourage represented the North. Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo former Governor of Enugu State and the first Secretary of PDP, Rt. Hon. Adolphous Wabara erstwhile Senate President and the dreaded General Achuzie Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Chief O.C.J. Okocha, Dr. Ego Ezuma the National Legal Adviser of Action Congress and others represented the East. Niger Delta was represented by who is who in the region that includes Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Chief A.K. Horsfall OMPADEC first Chairman, Alabo T.O.Graham-Douglas one time Minister of four Federal Ministries- Aviation, Culture, Sports etc, The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Henry Odein Ajumugobia, Dr. Joseph Wayas, Senate President of the 2nd Republic, Ambassador Dele Cole, Ledum Mittee – President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People MOSOP and Chairman of the Niger Delta Technical Committee. Traditional fathers were adequately represented - King Alfred Diete-Spiff, former outstanding Governor of the Old Rivers State, King T.J.T Princewill, Amayanabo of Kalabari, Amachree XI and father of the celebrant. Other dignitaries include Tony Uranta, Youpele Banigo, Prof Lawrence Ekepbu and other colleagues of Prince Tonye Princewill in the Niger Delta Technical Committee, Chief Magnus Abbey, SSG of the Rivers State Government among others.”
Reportedly, Alh. Shinkaffi spoke on behalf of the Northern Nigeria kick-start the event by paying glowingly tribute to the ingenuity of Prince Tonye Princewill for fashioning out and sustaining the Unity Government in Rivers State that has become a study in pragmatism, resilience, idealism and essence in the Nigerian politics and the various roles he has played in shaping the present day politics in Niger Delta region.
Dr. Okwesillieze Nwodo spoke on behalf of the National Leader of Action Congress, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and himself stated that the records of the Nigerian politics could never be completed without a space solely dedicated to the miracle and initiative of Princewill and Amaechi in Rivers State. It was Ambassador Segun Olusgola who spoke on behalf of the Yorubas that confessed the failure of his generation in the project called Nigeria and urged the need of total surrender of leadership to the likes of Prince Tonye Princewill.
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