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12.04.2010 Nigeria

ACHIEVE A BALANCE SCORE CARD BY SUCCESSFULLY ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES IN THE NIGER DELTA; POWER SECTOR AND ELECTORAL REFORM - PRINCE TONYE PRINCEWILL URGES AG. PRESIDENT JONATHAN

By Chukwuemeka Eze
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Prince Tonye Princewill the Rivers State AC and organized opposition Leader in Rivers State, during a series of radio interviews in Port Harcourt over the weekend stated that Ag President Goodluck Jonathan has the opportunity to redeem the office of the President which had been undermined by the recent events in the polity if he can objectively address the challenges of certain paramount issues facing the nation. Advocating that the seven point agenda of the Federal Government should be reduced to a three point agenda made up of – the Niger Delta Issue, Power Sector and Electoral Reform, arguing that if the acting president can address these issues adequately and seek solutions to the malaise in such areas, he is poised to etch his name in the marble of successful leadership in the nation.

He said the successful articulation and implementation of every aspect of the agenda is largely hinged on the peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta Issue. According to him, if there is peace in the Niger Delta, the gas needed to power the Power Sector will be readily available in the same vain peace would be sustainable when the Electoral reform allows for the election of legitimately elected leaders from the region.

Speaking on the Ledium Mitee led Presidential Technical Committee on the Niger Delta- where he served as member - he decried the FG's failure till date to issue a white paper on the committee's recommendations. He opined that a timely implementation of the recommendations will go a long way in the resolution of the issues prevalent in the Niger Delta region. He therefore urged Goodluck Jonathan to bring this issue to the front burner even as he steers the nation's affairs.

On the issue of Atiku Abubakar's planned return to PDP, the Prince of Niger Delta Politics stated that whilst not justifying the move he was only attempting to put the records straight by offering a little background on the decision to move. According to him, the decision was borne out of necessity. Having done his best to rally round and galvanize the opposition through NDM and other efforts to make positive democratic changes in the country, Atiku had become disenchanted by the actions of the key actors within the opposition.

Responding to remarks from a caller to the phone in programme, he vehemently debunked claims that he was used by certain powers in the PDP prior to the 2007 polls to wrest the AC ticket from Awuse, thus denying him a shot at the NO.1 seat in the state. Princewill stated that abinitio his foray into politics was for the purpose of wresting power out of the hands of the cabal that ran the state, so any claims as to his being planted was a gross misconception and contradictory.

Not wanting to be drawn into the controversial issue of the rebirth of the New Restoration Team in Rivers State, purportedly midwife and facilitated by a former Governor, Princewill only wondered aloud what the motives behind such an association were considering the antecedents of its sponsors and hoped that the Rivers people having seen the difference between the two dispensations would align wisely at the end of the day.

Speaking on his political future with assumptions in many quarters that he is set to follow his political mentor back to the PDP, where incidentally Princewill has his political roots, he reiterated that is still in consultation as to the way forward for him in what has been a hitherto short but eventful time in politics. He stated that so far he has four options available to him as to the way forward - Continue in AC; join another political party; join PDP or bow out of politics. He however assured his well wishers and supporters that whatever decision he takes would be known in due course.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Publicity Secretary, Rivers State AC

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