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Nigeria: Princewill Explodes Over Rivers Oil State

Nigeria: Princewill Explodes Over Rivers, Oil State

By Akanimo Sampson
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

PRINCE Tonye Princewill, the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate for Nigeria's Rivers State, one of the major oil-producing states, on Tuesday, in Port Harcourt, the state capital, formally presented the electorate with his plans for the state within his first 100 days in office, if he wins the April 14, election.

Before throwing light on some of the programmes, he said it was wise and for posterity sake to analyse the past using the present to enable him project into the future.

His detailed account goes thus: Rivers State was created in 1967, with our visionary, dedicated and amiable brother, uncle, and elder statesman Chief Alfred Diette- Spiff, who at the time of his appointment as the Military Administrator of Rivers State was only 24 years.

Based on the remarkable achievements of this illustrious son of Rivers State, which many indigenes of this State consider as a referral standard, and in line with my resolve to make the difference in governance, I have painstakingly taken time to study the past of our Leaders, identify their strengths and weaknesses etc, in order to build on their strength and avoid the mistakes of our past.

Diette-Spiff, whom nobody gave any chance of making any meaningful impact in governing our state because of his age, wisely surrounded himself with elders, seasoned technocrats and patriotic people who had the interest of Rivers people at heart before self. Today, the Diette-Spiff’s administration based on its track record has become a reference point of all administrations in the tate.

It may interest us to know that this young man’s administration laid the foundation of the modern Rivers State . Through him, 48 industries and Institutions were established; he built edifices that include the state Secretariat, Delta Hotels in all the then local government areas; the ultra-modern Civic Centre etc.

As a focused and pragmatic leader, the young Diette-Spiff developed an unprecedented manpower and infrastructure development that has continued to benefit the people of Rivers State till today. His administration awarded scholarship to all qualified indigenes; established the University of Science and Technology as well as numerous Colleges of Education and Technical Schools; our healthcare facilities then were marvelous. The Schools of Nursing and Midwifery were established to provide qualitative training for would be nurses as well as the provision of highly equipped hospitals through which a Siamese twin was separated. Chief Diette-Spiff’s government ensured that there was steady power generation, provision of pipe borne water, private operators were encouraged to run both land and water transportation system; basic needs of our people were put in place to cushion the effect of any inflationary tendencies. Security to life and property of our people was put in place.

Apart from these laudable achievements recorded during his rulership, the 24 years old administrator improved on his track records by seeing that the property of our people after the civil war was guided and protected by the famous abandoned property edict.

After this great Rivers State man, another patriotic son of the soil, Chief Melford Okilo came to consolidate on the gains, legacy and achievements of Diette-Spiff through decentralization of governance of the state through what was then called PABOD. The PABOD project was aimed at developing four other great cities outside Port-Harcourt - P stood for Port-Harcourt; A for Ahoada; B for Brass; O for Ogoni; and D stood for Degema.

Apart from this great and innovative idea, other remarkable achievements of Chief Okilo were the canalization projects to ease access to all parts of the state, and massive drainage was embarked upon to reclaim the lands of our people in riverside communities.

Another great man in the history of our State is Chief Rufus Ada-George who further consolidated on the achievements of these past leaders. During his tenure, he embarked upon massive construction of most of the roads in Port-Harcourt and some of the outlets outside the city as well as enhanced the security of our people. Through this man of God, there was visible peace, love, unity among all the tribes and sectors of our beloved state.
My good people of Rivers State, I need not bore you with all these records if not for the heaviness and bitterness in my heart appreciating that all these great achievements that cost these great visionary and patriotic sons of our state a meager sum of less than one billion naira have been bastardized through obnoxious policies of this present government that had spent 4 times the monies received by Cross River State and twice the amounts received by the six North-Central states put together.

Today, the records before us show that a whopping sum of 1.3 trillion naira belonging to our people have been wasted by the administration of Sir Peter Odili in the last eight years on frivolous activities and donations based on inordinate ambitions, and inflated contracts that have no bearing on the lives of the suffering and seemingly conquered Rivers people.

At present, all these legacies left by these illustrious sons of our State have been dismantled, coupled with the fact that this administration instead of considering how they came into power has become a government of deceit, lies, propaganda, waste, and on frivolous donations. The only achievement of this administration was reducing our people to a valueless society, impoverished living condition, beggars, subjected our children to reside in the swamps under penury etc.

Today, it is saddening to note that from 1999 till date, over 50 thousand of our industrious youths have been maimed and killed. Today, under Odili’s administration and their evil People Deceiving Party (PDP); most of the companies and foreigners are folding-up and running away from our State because of insecurity occasioned by unemployment of our youths that resulted to restiveness and a bleak future. Our youths have become wanderers in their own State under the misguided administration of Sir Peter Odili.

My people of Rivers State, if I must ask, was the insecurity in our State today as being reported in media organizations all over the world the same as in 1998 before the unfortunate choice of Odili into the administration of our State? Or rather let me put the question this way: Who created these monsters? Who gave them all these sophisticated weapons they are now using in killing themselves; who created violence and high growing state of insecurity in our State? Who is responsible for painting our once loved State negatively in the eyes of both our fellow Nigerians and the International Community? These are the legacies about to be left by this administration.

A lot of dirty stinking water has passed under the bridge and in order to prolong the sufferings of our people, another set of morally debased people are being foisted on the dying PDP in our State with the hope of imposing them on our beloved State as would be custodians of the next administration.

This is aimed at providing a cover up to all the nefarious acts, evil machinations, and swindling and looting of public treasury.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is because of this ugly scenario that forced people like us out to come and salvage our State from the hands of these modern day slave masters. God forbid that we allow Rivers State to be sold;

My administration, which would be an offshoot of Diette Spiff shall not rest until all the institutionalized evils perpetuated on our people by the Odili’s administration are righted and all looted funds retrieved; corrections of the past ill-fated eight years shall be effected with restoration of honour and dignity of our people at all levels .

Today, Odili, PDP, and all their associates are a big setback to our beloved State and have taken our State 24 years backwards, and today I have presented myself as the wind broom that will sweep away the evil these people represent. Those that have contributed to the current traumatic state of our people, brought down our people economically, psychologically and socially will be appropriately punished by my administration and God almighty.
Let me at this juncture highlight some of the steps and programmes we will carry out in our first hundred days in office.

First and foremost, I will embark upon a tour of all the 23 LGAs within my first two weeks to critically evaluate the needs of our people with the hope of proffering appropriate solutions to actualize such demands within the first hundred days of my administration. As an offshoot of the administration of Diete Spiff I hope to reintroduce Village Square meetings in all the Local Government Areas as was obtainable during the period of Diete Spiff where I am expected to discuss with the Chiefs, Stake-holders, Youths, Women and opinion Leaders of those communities one on one about their needs and how to implement them. It is funny enough and very unfortunate that Governor Odili has not embarked upon the tour of our LGAs for these past eight years; but obliviously rules the State as a personal property undemocratically with his cronies through falsehood and propaganda.

Within this period, we will resuscitate all our moribund industries; ensure the basic minimum requirement to sustain the quality of life of our people.

Accordingly, we shall involve all the stake-holders to evolve people’s oriented budgets for the general welfare of our people. Special attention shall be paid to our revenue generation mechanism, which has been devised these past eight years to hurt and impoverish our people and to be managed henceforth by our own people instead of the foreign Consultants in conjunction with Odili that are currently managing this sensitive sector of our economy. I shall probe and inform our Rivers people the extensive fraud perpetuated in the internally generated revenue.

It may interest the people of this State to note that a well researched policy thrust and economic-blueprint have been designed by our team of experts drawn from different segments and critical stakeholders with the overall goal of evolving a workable development agenda for the transformation and the improvement of the quality of life for all.

Considering the urgent need to revamp the State’s economy, which is at crossroads due to misplacement of priorities, lack of financial prudence, misapplication of funds etc, cost benefit and job creation and developmental projects will be initiated.

In other words, the following areas of necessity have been penciled down for attention within our first 100 days in office.

Employment Generation And Wealth Creation And Other Programmes

From surveys conducted by our team of experts that packaged our policy document, the single most recurring issue on the scale of preference of Rivers State people is job creation. In this regard, all idling assets viz companies, Industries, commercial ventures shall be rehabilitated and made functional. By this approach, I intend to reorient and debrief our youths which the Odili’s administration has left in the swamps to be properly rehabilitated in choice jobs.

Apart from the above the manufacturing and Industrial Sectors shall be given priority of place using the extensive oil and gas business in the State to develop it. It will be primus inter pres for Rivers people to be considered first in terms of employment before other people from outside the State.

My respected people of Rivers State , God has endowed us with beautiful environment that can explore advantageously by our people. I will establish vibrant Tourism Industries across the State both on land and sea such that Tourism will be a source of huge income besides providing employment.

Human Resources development will be a serious priority of my Administration. Education in all its ramifications shall be religiously enhanced through free education to all levels; Information Technology equipment shall be provided to all our Tertiary Institutions by liberalizing their autonomy and through their various Councils, rehabilitation and improving the infrastructural of all educational Institutions from primary to Tertiary levels and embarking on extensive training programme shall be seriously pursued.

My Dear people of Rivers State , all the areas through which the Odili’s Administration has attempted to invest – Health, Transportation, power supply, etc were all designed to siphon Rivers monies by ways of inflated contracts. They are intended never to function after the departure of Dr Odili. This is why, I shall immediately on assumption of office ascertain the extent of fraud and damage done to the State Treasury and inform the people of the State accordingly.

The scandal of power supplies will be given redress. I assure all Rivers people that real professionals will be given the responsibilities to provide power which is prerequisite to our Industries revolution of the State. We shall also improve on all the efforts made in the Energy Sector to ensure that Rivers State benefit in the Energy Sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these enumerated programmes are what we intend executing within our first 100 days in office by the special grace of God.
We shall have no alternative or option but to stop the looting and wastage that has characterized our public lives these past eight years by voting out the evil that PDP represents and voting in all the aspirants of AC where the future and greatness of our people lies.

With my background as a son of one of the prominent Royal fathers in our State coupled with my educational background as a United Kingdom trained Engineer (Imperial College, London), I hope to bring all these to bear in giving our people the desired pragmatic and purposeful leadership they deserve and need at this period.

Let me conclude by thanking our people for their tremendous support as evidenced by the mammoth crowd that usually accord us a rousing and heroic welcome in all the places we have organized rallies and courtesy calls. Let me assure all and sundry that I will not in any form disappoint your aspirations and belief in my capacity to turn around the fortunes of our State for the betterment of all. Knowing very well the antecedents of PDP as master riggers, I wish to appeal to all our people not only to vote the broom but to stay behind after voting and guard their votes.

We have set in motion mechanism to checkmate all the nefarious acts and plots to rig the next election in favour of PDP in the State and by the grace of God Almighty our dream to free our people at this time would surely be accomplished.


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