The Rivers State Chairman of Action Congress (AC), Suage Badey finally took up the gauntlet by saying that the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a blessing.
He made this known with other critical issues affecting the political landscape of the state during an exclusive interview on phone with The Tide on Sunday. He confirmed that the Action Congress (AC) has in recent times experienced massive defection of its prominent members including the party’s governorship candidate in the 2007 election, Prince Tonye Princewill with his supporters to the (PDP) in the state.
Mr Suage Badey said the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was a blessing and natural, stating that people should be allowed to defect to parties of their choice.
Mr Badey stated that AC in Rivers State was united and strong to face the challenges of 2011 elections in the state, adding “it is mere speculations that Action Congress as a registered political party is weak in Rivers State rather defection should be better viewed that an individual can move to any political party of his choice”. He further stressed that such individual movement would not negatively affect the electoral fortune of the party.
The Action Congress chairman emphasised that defection would not be an issue because dynamism and changes remained constant in human life, and therefore, to him “the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill is a good omen for the Action Congress to actually reorganise and reposition itself to face the challenges of good governance and internal democracy within the party.
Mr Suage Badey said that Action Congress remains resolute as the only party out to deliver good governance, accountability, transparency and implement people oriented policies for Rivers people and Nigerians, stressing that “the mere fact that Action Congress is a registered political party means the party is also governing the people of Nigeria.
On the issue of state creation, especially creating another state out of the present Rivers State, Mr. Suage Badey added that the Action Congress believes that Rivers State is ripe for an additional state to be created out of the present conglormerate of ethnic groups called Rivers State.
He said, “I support the agitation for another state out of the present Rivers State be it Bori State or Orashi State, but the obvious is Bori State because of the margnalisation of the people and the devastation of the environment”.
He further added that the Action Congress leadership will support the creation of a viable state that can economically sustain itself, not state created to satisfy a particular political unit without economic sustainability and resources.
The Action Congress chieftain added that Nigeria should emulate how states are administered in other countries before any consideration of states creation, saying that “states are better administered in South Africa and Ghana and I expect Nigeria to learn one or two lessons from these countries before creating any state in the future”.
Action Congress believes in purposeful, result oriented and transparent leadership with a clear vision of expanding the infrastructure for the social welfare and security of the people and not leadership that sees state creation as an opportunity of bringing state resources closer to them for mismanagement and self aggrandisement.
On the issue of 2011 general election, the Action Congress chairman added that the party was prepared to challenge the ruling party in the state with purposeful programme and policies to better the lives of Nigerians, he said AC is always prepared and remained committed to transparent leadership, people oriented politics to take Nigeria to economic sustenance among the comity of nations.
Mr. Badey appealed to Rivers people and the Nigerian electorate to be more proactive. “Nigerians must ensure that their rights are not trample upon, people should come out and ensure their votes count in determining their elected representatives and candidate.
On the issue of the new Electoral Law recently passed by the National Assembly, the Action Congress Chairman said that AC is yet to hold its NEC meeting to examine the Electoral law 2010 in relation to the forthcoming general elections and provision for emergence of candidates with the financial implication for campaigning during the elections.
“Therefore, I believe that more can be done to improve the Electoral Law and enhance democracy in Nigeria”.