Abuja - Tonye Princewill, the losing candidate
in the disputed Rivers State governorship poll, has bemoaned the escalating
crisis in Rivers State, expressing solidarity with the majority of residents
bearing the brunt.
Princewill, who contested the gubernatorial election on a
Labour Party ticket, ran for office against Nyesom Wike, the People’s
Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives
Ahead one of the most unmemorable political contests held in
the country since the advent of democracy, more than 100 supporters, with the
APC alleging the majority were theirs, were killed.
Wike emerged the winner in an election that not only was
beset by violence but was marred by allegations of vote rigging.
Princewill finished third.
Also read: 32 killed in pre-election violence in Rivers State
A year later, tensions still characterise the state in the
wake of a chaotic re-run election whose preparations also saw violence
Princewill, who has maintained a low political profile since
the gubernatorial poll, has broken his silence suggesting while the current
upheavals are of concern, they do not match the crisis sparked by the
“Those who say this election was bad, have no clue as to
what the 2015 election was like,” he said on Friday.
He criticised the way the rival political parties had
conducted themselves as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission’s
(INEC’s) handling of polls.
“If politicians have no alternative to politics, then their
politics will remain do or die. Especially when death has no consequence on
earth and God forgives freely while Nigerians forgive freer,” he said.
“INEC is now a referee that can't even issue red cards.”
Princewill called for calm from members of the public,
urging them to retain hope.
“My advice to my people is - do all you can to remain
peaceful. God is not sleeping and every cloud has a silver lining. Justice is
not far away,” said Princewill.
“The war between Wike and (former Governor Rotimi) Amaechi
is almost over.
Mark my words. And the winner will be Rivers State.”
- CAJ News