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Princewill warns against leaving governance to politicians

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Tonye Princewill

•Urges Wike to attract business to Rivers for employment
Former governorship candidate in Rivers State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Princewill has said, politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians in any society that desires advancement.

Princewill called on genuine people who meant well for society to come on board and make the needed changes, asserting that core politicians are often selfish and cause mayhem.

Princewill, who contested the governorship election under the platform of the Labour Party (LP) in 2015 made the call recently in Port Harcourt. The former governorship candidate said he was not happy that Rivers State is usually associated with negative news due to politics.

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He regretted that such negative reports were driving away investors and affecting development.

He said:  “I signed a contract with an investment firm outside the country and they asked me, investment in Rivers State, is it safe? But I told them that they are safe, the problem we are facing here is image and insecurity. Politicians have to tune their languages so that we can tune the stage for development and prosperity.

He said the languages, the tune and everything was negative in the political space, adding that, it was for sincere people to get involved.

Speaking further, the billionaire philanthropist, called on Governor Nyesom Wike, to tackle heaps of refuse currently dotting the streets of Port Harcourt and its environs. According to him, “Indiscriminate disposal of refuse in every corner was a sorry sight while driving into the state capital recently.”

He also asked the governor to spread development to all parts of the state to check the influx of people into Port Harcourt. “Development has to spread from the state capital to rural communities where there is absence of infrastructure.

“I drove into Rivers State recently and as I was driving into Port Harcourt, when I saw the streets. I was so happy that one of my business partners did not follow me because I don’t know how I would have explained it. There was heap of filth to my left, filth to my right and filth on the median. All over the place and the reality remains that if the place is dirty and not pleasing to the eye, it doesn’t show that government is working.

“That was one of the problems I had and I told former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, if you cannot see a clean city, then you don’t see governance. One of the indices for good governance is cleanliness. If the place is not neat, there is something wrong,” the APC chieftain explained.

Asked if he would be contesting the governorship election in 2023, he answered in the affirmative, with a caveat that only if he gets the needed support from Rivers people, but said it was first important to strengthen APC in the state, saying, “We need a viable party to contest an election.”

He lauded Governor Wike for awarding contract for the construction of the Trans Kalabari Road, which would link many communities, noting with emphasis that development should spread to other parts of the state.

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“I am happy that the governor as I heard recently awarded Trans Kalabari Road. He has also brought back the C-4-I (a special security architecture), which was initiated during Amaechi’s administration. But I want to see more of the cameras that were used and all that. I want to see projects in other areas. Etche is one of the least developed local government in Rivers. There are also reasons to complain in Orashi region.

“So development should spread. One of the reasons development should spread is that it will discourage rural to urban migration. The city can only take so much. I just came back from Buguma and I love the environment. Frankly speaking I love spending more time there than in Port Harcourt.

“But the question is, if you go there, what facilities, what infrastructure are available to you? So we should be talking about decentralising the state and that in my opinion, is the obvious reality,” he said.

Princewill further said unemployment was a major issue, saying: “Unless you can attract businesses to Rivers, you can’t address unemployment.”

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