APC, Princewill: Playing The Ostrich


The appearance of serial defector, Tonye Princewill on Rhythm FM in Port Harcourt on Saturday, August 5, 2017 highlighted the numerous achievements  of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as Nigeria’s Best Performing Governor.
The public relations job that the defeated Labour Party candidate did for  Governor Wike cannot be achieved  through months of sustained advertorials.
As an opposition figure who is aggrieved, Tonye Princewill admitted severally  that Governor Wike is executing numerous  projects across the state. The regular  defector even listed some of the  projects.
He, however, stated that the people of Rivers State are no longer interested in the numerous projects of Governor Wike.
Hear Princewill: “We don’t need Mr Project in Rivers State. Rivers State has been having many projects since the time or tenure of Amaechi,what Rivers people needs are jobs for the youth and the people. Rivers people needs Mr Jobs and not Mr project.”
That is where Tonye Princewill  got it wrong because projects and jobs creation are intertwined. His mind is fixated  on the traditional   jobs generation technique of direct employment into the civil service.  Even the traditional jobs generation is being revolutionised to accomodate  Rivers people in all the LGAs.
Governor Wike’s focus on state-wide infrastructural  development has been premised on employment generation and community empowerment.
Two major examples  will suffice.  The Rivers State Government is reconstructing and furnishing 175 Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in all the 23 Local Government Areas. In each  of the local government areas, local contractors were engaged to execute these projects. These local contractors have in turn engaged different cadres of skilled and  unskilled labour.  Rural economies  are also positively impacted.
There is also the total rehabilitation and equpping of 13 General and Zonal Hospitals across the state. Add this to the upgrade  and reconstruction  of five major secondary  schools  in the three senatorial districts. These projects have been distributed  to create jobs in different communities.
The countless roads constructed by the Rivers State Government  under the leadership of Governor Wike have opened up agricultural  centres for the empowerment of the people. The roads to the agricultural centres of Etche abandoned by the Amaechi administration readily  come to mind.
Across the world, infrastructure development is a known route towards quick job creation and economic generation.  The infrastructure  being  developed  are also meeting the basic social needs of the people.
For the  traditional  job creation  I mentioned earlier, Governor Wike  is set to roll out about 50,000 jobs for Rivers people living in all the 4442 polling units in the state. Each polling unit will get  10 jobs. The governor  will be speaking  on this unprecedented  job creation programme in due time.
Security of lives and property  is one area that Rivers APC  has continued  to play the ostrich.  They forget that all the security agencies are directly  under the control of the APC. Failures are directly  attributable  to the APC Federal Government.
As a responsible government, the Wike administration has made  the greatest investment  in security.  It has funded security operations, logistics and  supported the setting up of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. With close to 200 patrol vans and over 20 gunboats donated to the security agencies , the state government  has continued  to develop  the state’s  security infrastructure to meet emerging  challenges.  The state amnesty programme  has been  quite successful.
Instead of the Rivers APC  to support the Rivers State Government, they have resorted to demarketing the state. They fund negative  propaganda in the media  to create the false perception about the state. The reality  is that Rivers State is safe for business.
The worst security infractions  take  place in Lagos, Kaduna, Kogi and parts of the North East.  No politician from Lagos has taken up paid advertorials  to de-market Lagos over the ongoing Badoo cult war and kidnappings that are ravaging   the state.
Despite  the millions spent by Amaechi and his associates to sponsor negative propaganda , thousands continue  to  troop to Rivers State  for conferences  and meetings.  From Monday 6th August to 10th August 2017, distinguished  lawyers  from all over Africa will be in Port Harcourt for the 2017 African Bar Association  (AFBA Conference ). Several other conferences  have been held here in the last one year. While they lie, other people troop to the state to enjoy the peace and development of Rivers State.
Princewill’s Negotiation With Governor Wike
Princewill confessed  during the interview  that Governor Wike  refused to give  him a role in his government. That’s  why he defected to APC where Amaechi  promised him a role.
It is public knowledge that Governor Wike places the welfare  of Rivers people above the interest of politicians  who seek  roles to make money.  This administration  is about the people. All the efforts of the governor are geared towards improving  the living standard of majority of Rivers people.
Governor  Wike  has thrown up a challenge  to the APC National Secretariat to compare development activities  in Rivers State to any of their states. This challenge  for  a transparent  peer review is yet  to  be accepted.
The interviewer also placed this challenge  before Tonye Princewill.  After stammering  for several seconds, Princewill  was only able to mention  Lagos State.  By implication, he admitted that the other APC states   have been easily outdone  by the Wike administration.
Even under the current dispensation, Rivers State is far ahead of Lagos State. This is the centre of projects and sustained development.  Governor Wike  is establishing  a framework  that will lift the economy  of Rivers State.
Lack Of Federal Presence In Rivers State
Even Princewill, the new APC  convert, agreed that the Buhari administration  has nothing on ground in Rivers State.  Since 2015, work has stopped on all projects initiated  by the Jonathan administration in the state .
The first phase of the Port Harcourt International Airport was completed by the Jonathan administration.  Since then, nothing has happened to the facility.  The East-West Road which reached  an advanced stage has since  been  abandoned.  There is no meaningful federal   project  going on in Rivers State.  Princewill  only said Buhari  “will”, Buhari “shall”. Yet, over 80 percent of APC campaigns  were funded with Rivers resources  through Amaechi.   He claimed that  Rivers people hate  APC  because of Wike’s  propaganda.  That is not true. APC, as a political party, is founded on lies and deceit. Rivers  people prefer Governor Wike and PDP for their commitment  to development and truth. Where in Nigeria has the APC  demonstrated  commitment  to development?
On Novotel Hotel
As I conclude, I want to mention Novotel , since Princewill talked about it. He struggled to justify  the use of that  facility  for electoral fraud and malpractice.  According to him, the governor has no reason  to intervene because it would send wrong signals to investors.
Minutes after he left the studio, an APC group issued and sent a press release to the same radio station,  calling for the sack  of the Rivers APC chairman for relocating  the party’s secretariat  to Novotel. The electoral crimes being committed at Novotel pose a threat to the  security of Rivers State.  Governor Wike has a responsibility to maintain  law and order in the state.
Princewill’s appearance on a live radio programme, last Saturday,  confirmed his personality.  He is looking  for food and relevance.  Therefore, it will not be surprising  if Princewill  defects yet again.  His politics  is centred  on “wetin man go chop”.
From DRR to DCP to AC to ACN to PDP to LP and now  APC. Certainly Princewill  will defect to another party once they promise him a role. At  least, Amaechi  has contracted  him to  launder his image after looting the state blind.
Hired hands like Princewill  who do their master’s bidding cannot stop the progress of Rivers State.  Governor Wike is providing the  right leadership for the state despite inheriting  a battered state due to  Amaechi’s unconscionable looting and  sale of valued state assets.  They  think that  after two years, Rivers people  would have forgotten their horrible crimes.
As for the political issues raised by Princewill, I am sure he knows that Rivers people  are solidly  behind Governor Wike.  They will back him all the way to right political destination.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 Simeon Nwakaudu