ABUJA – Frontline politician and two time Gubernatorial candidate in Rivers state, Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill has challenged the United states, United Kingdom and European Union to make good their threats to sanction politicians who incite violence ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the country and especially in Rivers state.
Princewill who was speaking against the backdrop of violent altercations among partisans in his native Rivers state during the last elections, however counselled the political class to “shun violence in any form in Saturday’s election as bad news travels fast and sends the wrong signals about Rivers state”.
He made the call Friday in Abuja just before departing for Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital for the polls.
“The news in the country on Rivers state is often fashionably negative and we as leaders can not simply blame it on the media. We all have a responsibility too. While some are fascinated by the headlines, we are the ones who have to suffer the impact of these negative headlines and tarnished reputations”, he stated.
According to him, without security, the state cannot attract business or create jobs.
“Two Northerners competed keenly for the office of President and it was in Rivers that our people were killing one another. How does that make sense? Having said that, people will not realize that most of Rivers state was peaceful. In Asari Toru where I was, PHALGA and Abua LGA where historically violence has been the norm, people from opposing parties were seen sitting together at the collation centres and cracking jokes. You don’t hear that, because bad news often travels fast. Leaders should think beyond today and ourselves.”
He also called on the international community to sanction people who obtain power through violence and the blood of innocent people saying that sanctions, travel restrictions and account freezes are what will hit a politician where it hurts. “We are tired of their barking. They need to start to develop teeth.”