Kpofire: PDP, Tonye Princewill Thread Tackles Over Illegal Refineries

Kpofire: PDP, Tonye Princewill Thread Tackles Over Illegal Refineries

  • APC chieftain, Tonye Princewill has replied the Rivers peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who faulted him over his statement on illegal refineries in the state
  • The former governorship candidate said he prefers to toe the line of peace and sensitization against the violence allegedly promoted by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP
  • PDP, however, accused Princewill of self-promotion ahead of the 2023 election as he is allegedly eyeing the governorship seat of the state

Port Harcourt, Rivers state - Prince Tonye Princewill, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a former governorship candidate in Rivers state has engaged the Rivers branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over his statement that the current Rivers government is wooing the operators of illegal refineries in the state in order to join PDP.

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PDP statement on Princewill

According to a statement by the PDP, signed by Tambari Sydney Gbara, the party’s publicity secretary, Princewill had alleged that the aim was to stop the operators from their illegal business once they refuse to join the party or allow them to continue if they agree to join the governing party in Rivers State.

Kpofire: PDP, Tonye Princewill Thread Tackles Over Illegal Refineries
Tonye Princewill ( Image source)
Source: Facebook

The party, consequently accused Princewill of being interested in the business of illegal refineries, denying that the party was desperate for membership. The statement further accused the APC chieftain of discrediting the current government in order to pave way for his governorship ambition.

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The statement reads partly:

“Tonye Princewill is an attention seeker obviously playing to the gallery to attract the attention and blessing of his principal for a Governorship ticket in his drowning party.

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“He should be sincere enough to furnish the public with answers to these pertinent questions, why is he crying wolves that Governor Wike is stopping illegal refineries (Kpofire) if the action of the Governor is not affecting his line of business?"

The party then urged Princewill to submit the names of the operators of illegal refineries to the security outfits in the State as directed by the Governor since he allegedly knows them.

PDP also requested to know the names of those Princewill claimed were wooed by the present administration to join PDP and remain in business or otherwise.

Princewill reacts to PDP statement

But firing back, Princewill, a prince of the Kalabari kingdom, said most people who know him can testify that he leads by example. Alleging that the PDP’s response to his position was smear tactics, he said it was important to show Rivers people how to respond to such tactics.

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According to the APC chieftain in a statement he issued to, instead of toeing the line of violence or war as allegedly being promoted by the PDP, he prefers to toe the line of peace, so Rivers people can return to the path of peace.

He said the black soot still continues in the state despite the solution the government tries to proffer, advising that while the government remains tough on illegal refining, it should look deep into the causes of the illegality which he blamed on lack of job among the youths in Rivers State.

According to him:

“Be tough on illegal refining, but also be tough on the causes of the illegal refining, of which number 1 is the lack of jobs for the youth. People can not stand in water and soap will be entering their eyes. How many new industries have we brought in, how many businesses? Is it better to be loyal to jeeps and give them flyovers or be loyal to our many youths and women and give them a means of livelihood? These are the questions. I suggest we do all of the above and more, but give priority to the women and youths and spread development.”

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Princewill recalls statement on Wike

Princewill recalled his brief statement on the February 5 where he commended the Governor for his stance against illegal refining. He said he requested that the governor also addresses the root causes of illegal refining and that he should desist from playing politics with it.

He said:

“Not sure which of the salient points I raised, irked my detractors, but the fact that they called me, both a nobody and a statesman in the same paragraph, suggests enough to their frame of mind. Whenever you cannot recognize advice, you need leadership glasses.”

Next governor won't discriminate - Princewill

The former governorship candidate said not everything is about politics, assuring the PDP people who are listening that the next government will not discriminate against them.

According to him, no matter one’s leanings, he will be safe.

He said:

“What I expect of you is to love your state far more than you love your party. Think about your children and the children they will have to face. I’ve refused to abuse Wike, not because I cannot. All the angels know Wike has plenty of faults. I refuse to abuse him because that’s all we hear in the news.”

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Princewill said that people who want to invest in Rivers, need to feel welcome. According to him, they need to know that the people are jolly good fellows and that they are all brothers and sisters. He advised that they shouldn't be seen as political zealots, always on the attack, looking for who to smear.

“I know we cannot change overnight, but I can play my part. It was Tonye Cole who taught me that it is not only physical violence that we should be avoiding, we should be avoiding the verbal violence as well.
“If we want to keep on getting what we have been getting, we should keep on doing what we have been doing. But if we here want a more prosperous Rivers state, we really really really need peace. A word is enough for the wise. Not that we cannot wage war. Nobody loves war more than me, when the cause is just. But will we govern over dead people? Egberi fa,” he said.

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Princewill proffers solution to Rivers APC crisis

Recall that Princewill in an opinion article titled Rivers APC crisis: What I want as a way out had provided solutions to what could end the crisis that had engulfed the All Progressives Congress in the Rivers State.

He suggested a permanent and sustainable peace in the party, urging everyone to stretch out their hand for friendship whenever they can, at least on their own terms.

He argued that with such friendship, powerful forces outside the state can be defeated.


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