According to King James Version of the Holy Bible; the Book of Proverbs Chapter 3 verses 27 and 28: Withhold not good from them to whom is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
The Book of 1 John Chapter 3 verses 17 and 18 explains the above better when it stated and I quote – “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
On the other hand, Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia defines compassion as the virtue of empathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection andhumanism
The above quotations from the holy scriptures and the definition by Wikipedia of the need to assist and help each other to develop a better world notwithstanding; the main treatise of this attempt is to examine the activities of a man who sees himself as if the above scriptures and definition of compassion were solely written because of him.
Prince Tonye Princewill the crowned Prince of the renowned Amachree dynasty in the Kalabari kingdom with its century-long history of bravery in war with the famous King Prof T.J.T Princewill, Amaechree xi, Amanyanabo Kalabari Kingdom, member of the Commander of the Federal Republic(CFR) and the immediate past Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers as a father. Trained as an aristocrat par excellence and bestowed with an uncommon wisdom from God.
He has distinguished himself as politician with hope and vision for Nigeria and Rivers, his home State. He demonstrated this while knowing that his petition after the election of 2007 was water tight and capable of scuttling and cancelling the guber election of that year withdrew the petition in favour of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi after the Supreme Court
declared him the duly elected Governor of Rivers State in place of his cousin, Sir Celestine Omehia who was then parading himself as the Governor of Rivers State.
At the National level after serving diligently and proven himself as a beacon of hope for our country in the Presidential Committee on Niger Delta; on 18th April, 2009 was appointed alongside other illustrious Nigerians, as a member of the Federal Government Vision 2020 Committee, where he was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Niger Delta. Contrary to the norms of politics as seen in Nigeria where people occupy offices without any principle; he resigned from the Committee on the 19th May 2009 in protest of the JTF onslaught on Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Niger Delta Region. His action necessitated the setting up of the Amnesty programme for the then militants that ushered in peace in the Niger Delta region.
Before I divert from the main subject matter of this treatise which is to examine and x-ray a weeklong (10th to 16th June, 2012) in the life of this rare humanist, visionary leader, educationist, philanthropist, detribalized, amiable, political strategist which act of philanthropy has become infectious and shining example of the type of leadership desirable by the people of Nigeria.
For avoidance of doubt, the second week of June 10th to 16th though typical of every week in the Life of Prince Tonye Princewill was selected for this study.
The first day (10th June, 2012)
The Leader of Princewill Political Associates (PPA), PDP Chieftain and the Prince of Niger Delta Politics as he is fondly addressed and whose drive for a better society is a study in selfless service to humanity! On this first day of this examination, he arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos from Dubai where he took 10 young Nigerians under the aegis of Change Nigeria Group (CNG) on a tour of Dubai and South Africa where they met with members of the UAE royal family, institutional investors and leaders from far and wide so that they could discover for themselves the secrets of their success. He drove from the Airport to the ancient city of Ibadan the capital city of the old Western Region now the capital of Oyo State to interact with the Directors, crew members of a new block buster movie being cast that will shake and change the film industry in Nigeria for good. The film title “76 whose film format is on senoloid camera is anchored on the coup of 1976 in Nigeria aimed at recreating history for the incoming generation and preserving a remarkable part of the history of our nation.
According to Mr. Adonijah Owiriwa, the Executive Producer of the Movie who welcomed Prince Tonye Princewill and his entourage, “The film is principally aimed at exposing how greed and excessive quest for power has destroyed the greatest black nation on earth. We have spent three years shooting this movie and yet to come to an end because we had to take steps to put everything in place to ensure that 70’s is depicted correctly. We had to pass through the rigours of getting approval of the Chief of Army Staff which enabled us to get access to the barracks, arms, uniforms and other accessories that were used by the Army in the 70s. Other Directors on hand to welcome the Prince were the famous Izu Ojukwu directing the film, Associate Producer, Grace Haastrup, Mr. Pat Nebo, the Art Director and Director of Photography, Mr. Yika Edumund among other Directors. The Prince who is the Sponsor of the movie interacted and ate with the crew numbering over 200 after which he addressed and motivated them to ensure that the movie makes its mark in the Film Industry in Nigeria. “I will do my best to ensure that you are motivated and assisted to make your marks in the Nollywood. A whopping sum running into hundreds of million Naira has been set aside by the Prince to promote this new film.
The Second Day (11th June, 2012).
The Prince rushed back to Port Harcourt to meet up with the weekly prayer meeting anchored by Bishop John Enojoh with members of his staff (River Drill Group) of which he is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). On this week’s prayer session, a seasoned and respected man of God, Apostle Daniel from Gboko was the Guest Speaker with Evangelist Eucharia Anunobi the famous Nollywood Actress who is now a Preacher of the gospel of Christ in attendance. The Guest Speaker who titled his speech “The Benefits of Risk Takers”; took his text from I Chronicle 11 verse 17-18: “And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord”. In his sermon, the Guest Speaker who was among the foundation members of the Boko Haram and converted by Christ Himself; admonished the staff that the Prince is thirsty and looking for staff and people who are risk takers that can get him water to quench his thirst!
Later in the day the Prince met with the leadership of Nigeria Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ). Miss Enale Koda, the Rivers State Chairperson of the Association who led her Exco on a courtesy call told the Prince that they will like to partner with him in their emancipation agenda of the women particularly arresting and enlightening the women of the danger and prevention of breast cancer among other programs. The Prince accepted to partner with them and to assist them where necessary in carrying out this onerous task.
The Third Day (12th June, 2012)
The third day was used to host the State Chairman of NUJ, Opaka Dokubo and members of his EXCO and representatives of the 2012 Credentials Committee which the Prince used to redeem the N2.5million pledge to the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) during its last State NUJ Fifth Delegates Conference of which he was the Conference Chairman.
Prince Princewill while handing over the cheque said he was moved by the significant role the media play in sustaining life of society and most often placing their own lives on the line.
He regretted that those who ought to benefit for their contributions to society are often relegated to the background, and called for a change of attitude on the part of our leaders, present and future.
The liberal democrat frowned at the laxity that characterizes public life and management of public institutions in Nigeria on account of which we have recorded many avoidable losses.
On the recent Dana plane crash that claimed over 153 persons, the Prince blamed it on the non-challant attitude of those in charge of affairs in the aviation industry.
Crying and lamenting over the dead he said, is no longer the issue but how to stop a re-occurrence of this mess.
The Prince enjoined government and the authorities to probe the black Sunday’s incident with a view to punishing those found culpable, besides coming up with stringent rules and regulations on the management of the airways and those managing it.
“Elsewhere in the world this is the practice and experience has shown that such air mishaps are at the lowest ebb and whenever it happens those found wanting are sought out and punished accordingly no matter how long it takes. For this reason, everybody involved in the management of the airways is serious and committed because if you are found to be privy to any careless mistake you go in for it”, the petroleum engineer turned politician remarked.
To be able to get to the anticipated level, the Prince charged the media not to relent and to embark more on investigative journalism to expose such corrupt persons no matter their social status.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of the NUJ, Opaka Dokubo thanked the donor for his love for journalists, commending him for his humility and various efforts aimed at building the youths as leaders of tomorrow.
He pledged the understanding and co-operation of journalists serving in the State even as he prayed for sound health and long life for the Prince of Niger Delta.
The Vice Chairman of the NUJ, Ayo Tamuno in a vote of thanks, appreciated the Prince for his magnanimity and efforts to showcase the Niger Delta indigenous culture in dressing and philanthropy.
Mr. Tamuno also used the opportunity to mention the predicament of the State NUJ council which has been operating without a council secretariat until governor Amaechi graciously undertook to provide one for us; courtesy of the appreciable efforts of the Information Commissioner, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari to which the Prince promised to lend voice to, for a speedy realization.
The Fourth Day 13th June, 2012
The fourth day was used to host the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association where he graduated some years past as a qualified Engineer. Led by its National President, Prof B.M. Mdimele and Rivers State Chapter President, Sir Engr Samson Ngeribara who expressed his delight on behalf of the Exco in having the Prince as the Chief Launcher of the alumni fund raising. UNIPORT, he stated has come of age to showcase to the world its product, thus the Prince was selected based on merit, stressing the difference between the various contributors and that of the Prince, the latter did theirs whilst they occupied Public offices but the Prince without any public office has demonstrated twice as more than they can imagine. Engr Samson thanked the courage exhibited by Chf Eze .C. Eze who represented the Prince for his speech and pledge made on behalf of the Prince. Finally, the President thanked the Prince and stated he had no doubt in anyway regarding the fulfilment of pledge made, in his words “Tonye Princewill is a Man of Action ,he matches his words with Action” and ascribed on others to emulate the will and determination to support the Alumni.
In his response, Prince Tonye Princewill commended the Association for considering him worthy for such a visit and stated that an Association that has the seating President of Nigeria, Dr Jonathan Goodluck and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the Chairman of the Governors Forum as alumni should be an example to other sister associations. Stating that his days in UNIPORT were his formative years in Business and how that has transformed him into what he is currently doing. Finally the Prince fulfilled his pledge made to the Association to the tune of N5m.
The Fifth Day 14th June, 2012.
Dr Chris Mbata led the Rivers State Exco of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria to inform him of the plight facing the Association and the need of the Prince partnering with them seeing that his father, King Prof T.J.T. Princewill was one of the key foundation fathers of the Association in Nigeria. The Prince thanked them for the visit and alter donated undisclosed amount to the Association to assist them organise their week.
The Second activity of the day was hosting the Board and Directors of Rivers Music and Arts Project (RIVMAP) which the Prince set up to fish out raw talents from Niger Delta region and to promote the discovered talents to International acceptable standard. According to the Chairman of the Board, Mr Tamunoiminabo Wokoma alias Tams a renowned world Music producer based in France; the vision behind RIVMAP is to fish talents from the region and showcase them to Europe for the great future of the country and thanked the Prince for initiating such an idea that will rewrite the history of entertainment industry in the country. He thanked the Prince for setting aside the sum of N100M in this regard in which the sum of N5M is for the Winner of the Music segment and a recording deal, the champion in the Dancing Group goes home with the sum of N2M and the champion in the Comedy segment goes home with the sum of N1M. The Prince commended Tams and his group for the good job done so far and urged them not to relent until we take the entertainment industry to the next level.
The Prince concluded his day with his meeting with Lady Mina Omunguye, the Coordinator of the Princewill Trust Fund that sponsors the yearly Amachree Scholarship Fund for indigent students from the 23 Local Govt Areas of Rivers State. She briefed the Prince that issuance of cheques to the to the 150 Rivers Indigenes in Higher Institutions in the country for the 2012 Scholarship set will be organised at Buguma the Headquarters of the Kalabarri Kingdom on 30th June, 2012. The Prince later released a cheque of N20M covering both logistic and the fund for the winners for the 2012 session to the Coordinator.
The Sixth Day (15th June, 2012)
The mother of all the events for the week came up in the sixth day when women from all the Local Government Areas in the State including the Hausas, Yorubas, Ndigbo, Akwa/Cross women and the Market women gathered at the PPA Secretariat at Aba Road in what they describe as a ‘thank you solidarity visit on a man that has decided to clothe and wipe out our tears’. In an emotional laden voice, Dr Mrs Edith Wele the PPA Women Leader told the over five thousands women and others in attendance that they cannot thank the Prince enough but that they are ready to support him steadfastly and faithfully until his vision to emancipate the State is achieved. “We are here to thank you the Prince for releasing the sum of 26m for the empowerment of women in Rivers State through the Rivers State Microfinance Agency (RIMA). The women leaders briefed the Prince that they have trained over 500 women in the Skill Acquisition Scheme initiated by him since the inception of the scheme in the State. The Prince in his response donated an 18seater air-conditioned bus, extra N2M and authorised the release of Skill Acquisition Scheme equipment to all the Local Government Areas including other groups like the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Akwa Ibom/Cross Rivers Women residing in Rivers State to empower them. He later commissioned the Skill Acquisition Scheme Equipment. The women danced and sang praises to God for giving them the Prince as their own; “Princewill carry us dey go as we are all yours”
The Seventh Day (16th June, 2012),
This extra-ordinary enigma and workaholic concluded this special week with inspection and commissioning of an ultra modern Office Complex in Port Harcourt to serve as a venue for receiving guests and visitors as he has declared every Tuesdays and Thursdays as his visiting days where anybody without appointment can see him without any protocol breached.
Later in the evening he departed to London to witness the birthday of his first, daughter Azaria Princewill, who turned 14 on 17th June, 2012
Apart from the activities carried out within this special week, the Prince has demonstrated his love for his people in many ways in time past. He had within this year furnished and equipped the Cyber Cafe of the Federated Correspondents Chapel, donated computers to Tide Newspaper Corporation based in Port Harcourt.
Spent over N120M to organise the first ever TV Reality Show for Orphanages in Nigeria with Godswill Orphanage of Kogi State clinching the coveted trophy and the Championship Prize of N10M while the Runners-up, the Lifetime Orphanage of Rivers State got the Prize of N5M. Rachael Homes, Abuja came in third carting home the N3M prize. The Princely amount of Five Hundred Thousand each was given to the other remaining five Homes as co-champions and what the Prince called “combined winners”.
On 2nd of May, 2012 he did the impossible by donating an equipped classical Media Centre to his political party, PDP at Abuja for the use of Journalists. During the last Women Day in Rivers State, the Prince instituted a 26 Million Naira Microfinance Fund for Rivers State Rural Women.
With the donation of N25m to the Polo Club recently meant for the construction of a standard pavilion in honour of his father, the donation of the multi-million Naira equipped studio to some youths he sponsored to the Del-York Film Academy, the N100M Endowment Fund to promote and scout for new talents in the Entertainment Industry and the offer of scholarship to over 150 Students in Higher Institutions in the country, Prince Tonye Princewill has proved himself as the new Face of Hope for the people of Rivers State.
Within these meetings, he was meeting with other countless groups and individuals and this is what the Prince said about these meetings. “It has been very engaging and productive168 hours with my people here in Port-Harcourt. I can’t believe I’m smiling; 1-on-1 interaction with over 1000 people in 6 days. Thank God for the unwavering strength that has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.
My take: Based on my continuous interactions and unceasing engagements with Nigerians of diverse socio-cultural orientations, different political backgrounds, various economic status, and religious inclinations; I have come to the full realisation of the fact that the natural factors that bind us far outweigh the man-made challenges that create gulf between us. As such, I have resolved to be more resolute in my involvement in activities that build bridges, rather than engage in issues that burn them. Within my capacity as an impact investor, a staunch advocate of good governance with moderate track record in grassroots politics, development-minded engineer and people-centred policy influencer, I’m increasing the tempo of my renewed efforts at reaching as many as possible to whom my knowledge, expertise, experience and ‘widow’s mite’ would be of certain degree of encouragement. So, let’s come together and forge ahead together. Your enquiries, suggestions and contributions are highly welcome”.
eaps and bounds.
My take: Based on my continuous interactions and unceasing engagements with Nigerians of diverse socio-cultural orientations, different political backgrounds, various economic status, and religious inclinations; I have come to the full realisation of the fact that the natural factors that bind us far outweigh the man-made challenges that create gulf between us. As such, I have resolved to be more resolute in my involvement in activities that build bridges, rather than engaging in issues that burn them. Within my capacity as an impact investor, a staunch advocate of good governance with moderate track record in grassroots politics, development-minded engineer and people-centred policy influencer, I’m increasing the tempo of my renewed efforts at reaching as many as possible to whom my knowledge, expertise, experience and ‘widow’s mite’ would be of certain degree of encouragement.
So, let’s come together and forge ahead together. Your enquiries, suggestions and contributions are highly welcomeIf this is leadership in action then the people of Rivers State are blessed by God with the gift of Prince Tonye Princewill a man redefining what leadership is all about in Nigeria..
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt.
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, firstname.lastname@example.org, 08038199163
Category: Press Release