A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, and an ally of former Transport Minster, Rotimi Amaechi, Tonye Princewill, has resigned his membership of the party over the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
His resignation was in protest of the Muslim-Muslim ticket, following the choice of the 2023 presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to pick former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima as his running mate
Princewill, who announced his retirement from the party in a statement on Tuesday, said the decision by Tinubu was a slap on Northern Christians and indirectly telling them they do not have electoral value.
He added that he could not defend the decision of Tinubu, a Muslim, settling for another Muslim, and staying in the party meant he was in support of the ticket.
“I cannot defend the decision of my party, in fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket, especially at a time like this, against all protestations from well meaning Nigerians, across religious and political divides,” Princewill said in the statement.
“It sets a very wrong precedent; it is totally insensitive and even if you win, will prove bad for good governance. Under these dire circumstances, I find no justification to still remain, in good conscience, a member of a political party that subordinates electoral victory, OVER the safety of lives and the peace of mind of its citizens.
“While I appreciate my leader Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi and all his efforts, I cannot defend the decision of my party, in fielding a Muslim Muslim ticket.
“The men and women of our party here in Rivers are the most loyal and faithful supporters I have met. They know right and they know wrong. And they know me.
“I enjoyed working with them and I’m so sad to leave. But an APC party that totally disregards the basics of the same equity we preach, is alien to me. Buhari resisted the same temptation and chose a little known Osinbajo and won.
“By doing this, Tinubu is saying that a Northern Christian has no electoral value. My staying means I agree.
“I wish you well. And I remain grateful to our Leader, but I cannot defend the indefensible. And to be totally honest, neither should you.”
The resignation of Princewill follows a rash of departures of prominent members from the Rivers chapter of the party in the past few weeks which has seen not less then 10 high profile resignations, which has thrown the state chapter into a crisis.
In the past one month, party stalwarts like former Information Commissioner and Caretaker Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Ibim Semenitari, have thrown in the towel on Monday.
Other high profile resignations from the APC in the state included a former federal lawmaker, Chidi Wihioka, who announced his resignation from the party last week, former Commissioner and Member of the State House of Assembly, Friday N. Nubari, Ogbonna Nwuke and Dr. Dawari George, a former Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources under former Governor Amaechi.
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