APC chieftain In Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, who was spokesman of the Tony Cole Campaign before the courts removed APC candidates from the elections.
The ex governorship candidate, in a recent interview with Vanguard, talked about the governorship election and the effects it has on the people of Rivers State
On Wike’s re-election, he said, “What has happened so far teaches me a lot of things. One, some Nigerians do not care enough about our corruption; at least not enough to call a spade a spade when they see it. We all know what transpired even if we don’t know the details. Yet, we put it down to how things are in Nigeria and in Rivers State. Two, many Nigerians do not care how you win, as long as you win. You can kill and maim your way to power and it won’t matter to them, they will gladly shake the bloodstained hands of the winner and bow down in loyalty. Our moral compasses have so ossified to the point where winning is more important than how you win. The outrage of what led to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s declaration is shared by many, but not enough. Some of us have elected to do something about it.”
On if he believes it was the people’s choice “There is no correlation between that result and Rivers people. Unless it is in the minds of the ignorant or the complicit. If like some, you believe that the end justifies the means, it is convenient to disregard how that result was arrived at. But those who know better aren’t fooled. You say 700,000 votes, yet you ignore that one LGA, Wike’s own, accounts for over 300,000 votes unchallenged after he stormed its collation centre where a soldier was shot, yet another was injured critically with a machete and AAC agents taken hostage while electoral materials were carted away. An LGA where such occurred really had no business being accepted by INEC. The list of high crimes by INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, continued across the other LGAs, but the APC Federal Government let it be. If we had taken matters into our own hands, people would have died and the neutral observer would have said we in Rivers State are savages. I don’t blame Wike, I blame his accomplices. They too must answer to this show of shame. They cannot escape it.”
On if how long election results took to be released were normal, “It isn’t normal. And yet some expect a normal result to emerge from such an abnormal process. Our moral compasses have been so redacted to the point where we cannot call a spade what it is. INEC suspended a whole election in an entire state against the provisions of an electoral act and it stood. Our cries were dismissed and our voices ignored. Nobody listened. Rotimi Amaechi is one man. If PDP and internal saboteurs cannot forgive him, should the entire state be made to suffer? Do our elders and youths have to be subjected to a Wike administration for another four years because of your hate for Amaechi? What did he do to you? What did we do to you? Every life in Rivers State is valuable and we will not rest until they are given the opportunity to realize their full potential. Some of the people lining up to stab Amaechi today were the beneficiaries of his good heart yesterday. In some cases, he even saved their lives.”
On his message for Rivers State people, he said, “Yes. To all of you at home and away, I say that the night is darkest just before the dawn. Be hopeful. Wike is a cancer that has to be removed. We know how he got there, we know what has become of our state since he did. Rather than touch our people and develop our state, he has touched the media, developed propaganda and bribed our institutions just to remain as Governor. Far fewer people died in 2019 than in 2015 by a ratio of 50 to 1, but looking at media reports, you won’t see this. Just hold on to your faith. God is not sleeping. Tonye Cole means well. He is not here to settle scores or take sides. He is here to make peace. I am ready to fight for that. And I know I am not alone.”
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