...Reacts To Princewill’s Comment On Amaechi
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the entire leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ) in the state will decide on the PDP Presidential Aspirant to support ahead of the party's Presidential Primary.
In an interview in Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike stated that the direction of Rivers delegates will not be determined by one person.
He said: "At the end of the day, the leadership of the party will meet at the state level and decide where are we heading to? Then we will all be together. No one individual can do it alone. So, Rivers state will move as a team, I will listen to the leadership of the party, then we will move forward.
"Who are we going to support? Where is the national survey? Who is more popular? This is how politics is played. I challenge any of the presidential aspirants from the north who have gone to other governors and they have given them campaign coordinators, I challenge them to mention if I have given them one name."
He said that the decision on the way that Rivers State will go, will not be determined by sentiments, but on the overriding interest of Rivers State.
The governor said: "Can anybody say I have met him one day to say support so, so, and so Presidential Aspirant? People have been coming here and I told them I will not, and I will never, nominate anybody to be a liaison to any of the presidential aspirants. Not one person, I challenge them.
"Atiku (Abubakar) came here, (Sule) Lamido came here, Makarfi came here, Saraki came here, Tambuwal came here, (Ibrahim) Shekarau came here, (Attahiru) Bafarawa came here. Let one person say I have ever said take Joseph, take John, take John Bull, take Beatrice as your campaign coordinator like other some do. I don't deceive people, I will not deceive people, and I will not deceive my people."
He stated that nobody will blindfold the people of Rivers State into supporting a Presidential Aspirant with compromised credentials. He explained that some of the Presidential Aspirants are under the sponsorship of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: "But one thing you must take home is that I cannot be misled, I cannot be blindfolded; I know what's going on. I know what the presidency and the APC are doing to plant a presidential aspirant in the PDP.
'I have not even mentioned how a very senior official of a security agency in the country told me which of the candidates to support! You can imagine me as a governor and the head of a security agency would tell me to support one or two persons. Head of security agency who is in a government controlled by the APC! Come on, you direct me on who to support for president?"
Governor Wike reiterated that the plot by the APC Federal Government to use the security agencies to rig elections in Rivers State in 2019 will fail.
He said: "It won't happen in my state, but I know they will kill a lot of persons. I can tell you they will kill a lot of us. No problem, this is the sacrifice we have to make for democracy to thrive."
Governor Wike stated that he will have nothing to do with godfather politics, pointing out that when he leaves in 2023, the people of Rivers State will collectively choose his successor.
He said "I'm on record and my friends, my colleagues, they know me and I have told them. I am a student of history, mention who has survived it. That you put your life, you put your blood to bring somebody. So as a student of History, I know it does not work that way.
"I will do what I have come to do , to serve my people and when my time has come to an end, those who want to run, let them run. Let the people of Rivers State decide, it is you, it is him. . And that is the problem we are having, people want to continue to be Godfathers, how and that is the problem we are having without development.
"When I hear some people make comments, with all due respect, I don't want to talk about persons, when I hear about one, they call him Tonye Princewill and I laugh. The young man forgot the interview He granted the Premium Times, He forgot the interview, and people forget history. That these things are documented, so I now hear what he's saying, I say oh my God."
He recalled that those struggling to play godfather are doing so to protect themselves from criminal prosecution. He pointed out that Tonye Princewill in his 2014 interview with Premium Times outlined these issues.
"How much Rivers State assets were sold by the previous Government to his friend and how it was used to fund election of Buhari and the rest. He forgot easily, today He's saying a different thing and I say what kind of characters do we have? " Governor Wike said.
(See text of Princewill’s Statement below).
Amaechi Sold Rivers' Assets To Fund APC, Buhari – Tonye Princewill
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in Rivers State, Tonye Princewill, has accused Governor Rotimi Amaechi of selling the state's assets to an indigenous oil company, Sahara Energy, and using the fund that accrued from the sale to finance the activities of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
PREMIUM TIMES recently reported how assets such as Olympia Hotel, Abonemma Wharf, Risonpalm and the power generating stations in the state were sold to Sahara Energy.
Mr. Princewill alleged that the over $800 million realized from the sale of the assets was never lodged into the coffers of the state government.
“Money changed hands but the accounts they entered were not necessarily Rivers state government's officially operated accounts,” he said.
He also alleged that there is no evidence of competitive tendering, independent valuation or a transparency in the entire process, arguing that the “Rivers people cannot be sure they got a good deal”.
“In one instance approximately $400 million changed hands over an asset that could easily be worth twice that. Why the secrecy?” he said.
Mr. Princewill, who said he worked for the success of Mr. Amaechi during his election in 2007, also accused the governor of using threat and intimidation to force the sale of the assets to Sahara Energy after the company began to develop cold feet funding the politics of an opposition party.
“Incidentally the partners in the company (who were) uncomfortable with the obvious attempt to finance the politics of Amaechi hesitated to approve the transactions.
“But a prompt threat from the Rivers Government made them rethink. Can anyone say they did not know what the money would be used for?
“Amaechi is one of the chief financiers of the APC election and a close ally of Buhari,” he said.
He also accused the Rivers governor of using some of the proceeds of the sale to launch international propaganda for the 2015 election.
“Information reaching me is that international media organizations have already been paid in USD from these transactions to come and cover the 2015 elections in a Tahrir square strategy.
“The aim of the opposition is to gather crowds in a single location and beam pictures around the world creating the impression that the whole country is in chaos,” Mr. Princewill said.
Efforts to get the Rivers Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari, to react to the allegations were unsuccessful. She did not return calls and sms sent to her at the time of publishing.
Why I moved to Labour Party PREMIUM TIMES' exclusive chat with Mr. Princewill was preceded by a Press Conference, in which he told the media the reasons he recently left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the Labour Party, LP.
He said the PDP did not treat all the aspirants in Rivers State fairly in the process that produced former Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, as the candidate of the party in the state.
He said rather than agonise like others, he chose to look for a platform that shares the same belief and aspirations like him to actualize his dream of running for governor.
“2015 has been on our mind since 2007, the time has come and we have tried as much as we could to play it fair, and reasonable, but the PDP felt that in their best interest they are going to impose a candidate on us.
“While other aspirants had not had the good fortune, wisdom, courage or opportunity to move parties, I have; and I have moved into a party that I can quite comfortably call home,” he said.
He said he strongly believes that he has the support of the people, because unlike most politicians from the state, he declined to take up positions in the Senate and the federal cabinet.
“I declined both Senate and Ministerial positions to remain with the people.
“I stayed out of government and kept my political structure intact,” he said.
Mr. Princewill also stated that politicians are often forced to move from one party to another because most political parties in Nigeria lack ideology.
He, however, said the Labour Party is different because it stands for something, which he also believes in.
“The Labour Party has an ideology and concept of what government should be doing which is similar to my own,” he said.
“I am someone who believes that business should be allowed to thrive, but the ordinary people must be carried along, jobs need to be created and people need job security. I also believe that we should be looking at jobs for all, not just creating contracts for a few and in that light, the Labour party and myself share quiet a lot.
“We believe in social housing, free education, free health care and also believe that business should be partners with employees instead of a master/ servant relationship,” he said.
Mr. Princewill said the Labour Party would be his last political party.
“It is safe to say that I am not going to be moving again, if Labour party disappoints my constituency, then I will be quitting politics completely. I am not going back to PDP under any circumstances.
“I intend to finish my political career in the Labour Party whether I win or lose the next election,” he said.
He added that with his movement to the party and his adoption as its candidate, eleven other political parties have joined forces to endorse him as their candidate in 2015
“A press conference will be held in the next few days to unveil that position.
For 2015 in Rivers State, it is going to be the PDP, APC, and the rest. We are the underdogs, but that is the kind of underdog I prefer to be,” he said.
Culled from PREMIUM TIMES Published on December 21, 2014