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Rivers: AC Leader Scares Amaechi Over Odili

Rivers: AC Leader Scares Amaechi Over Odili

by Akanimo Sampson,
Port Harcourt

Action Congress, AC, governorship candidate in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, who was up till Wednesday, locked in a closed door talks with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, on how to move the big oil-producing state forward, says he will not hesitate to abort his current political romance with Amaechi if the governor moves to placate Dr. Peter Odili, who dominated the politics of the state for eight years-1999-2007.

Princewill said his uncompromising fight against Celestine Omehia, who was the previous Thursday sacked by the Supreme Court as the governor of the state, was based on principle. ''It was not a fight based on ego, we sought to dismantle an evil oligarchy that held Rivers down for eight. We sought to uproot a retrogressive political dynasty that left the Rivers people with the worse form of poverty than what was by May 29, 1999'', Princewill said.

AC chiefs, and some of the Amaechi political potentates confirmed to this reporter that the young Princewill has already warned the governor that if he plays ball with Odili, there would be trouble. For those who know the AC better, it is not a mere scare politics.

On his way out of the country for a two-day trip, the Atiku Abubakar political disciple said he was satisfied with the abortion of the Odili era. According to him, the Omehia regime was an extension of the Odili era, claiming that even though Amaechi is also a product of that system, ''he now knows what it means to break out of that clique''.

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Continuing, he said, ''once Amaechi deviates from the broad political principles we have agreed, we will fight him to a standstill. We have agreed that the Rivers people want an inclusive, listening administration that will fair to all''.

At the moment he said Amaechi was enjoying the goodwill of the people and was also riding on a wave of anti- Odili sentiments.

''Turning my back on him is not an option for now because despite our differences, we now represent a new beginning both in terms of our generation, our thought processes and our collective vision. I have spent a lot of time with him in the past few days assessing his thought processes and I am happy with what I see. However he continued, it would be rude to wholeheartedly endorse him and disregard the flaws in the purported election victory without considering if it is in the interest of Rivers State and its people'', he said.

Adding, he said, ''my interests are clear and so is my ambition but they are nothing compared to the interests and ambitions of Rivers people. This is what I must establish over the next few days in consultation with my party, my friends, my lawyers, campaign team, political associates and most importantly my family. Only then will I make any formal announcements to the contrary about my tribunal case. This is why despite my very deep appreciation for Amaechi and his actions till date, I have to convince others of what I have seen and felt before taking a public position on behalf of all of us. The first candidates to convince are my wife and kids. It is them I am going to meet in London'' .

On the alleged looting of the Rivers State treasury in the last five months, he urged the governor to be very cautious in appearing to protect criminality, saying his no victor, no vanquished speech while in order must not be used as an escape clause for brazen looting.

''An inquiry must be made into the revelations and answers found. Failure to do that will suggest he has left the matter and I would like to remind the governor that the matter unfortunately is not his to leave. We have agencies that should be allowed to do their job. Justice must not only be done it must be seen to be done'', he said.

It is being said in guarded whispers that nwhile Princewill is priersonally happy with a Amaechi, he still wants to galvanise his party behind him. To this end there are efforts to carry stakeholders along. There are also backstage pressures from the anti-Amaechi quarters on AC to press ahead with their legal battle at the election tribunal against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The political landscape of Rivers is pregnant with uncertainties. No one clearly knows who is where. Most of the political leaders justling for positions are hardly principled. Even some of those who were very vociferous during the Omehia shortlived period, are said to be begging the new order for forgiveness.

For now, whether AC will press ahead with the tribunal case against PDP will depend on the party, not Princewill. But, Princewill comes from a major political constituency in the Rivers project. He is an Ijaw of the Kalabari extraction. Amaechi has to woo the Ijaw people very assiduously for peace to enable him unleash his developmental agenda for the state.


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