Former Labour Party governorship candidate in Rivers state and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Prince Tonye Princewill has condemned the assassination attempt on the APC governorship candidate in the State, Tonye Cole.
Cole was attacked last Friday in Bakana-Kalabari area of Rivers state by unknown gunmen.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Princewill expressed concern over pervasive state of insecurity in Rivers state.
The APC chieftain declared that those apprehensive over Cole growing influence and acceptance in the state ahead of next February election were behind the evil plot to assassinate him.
Princewill appealed to security agencies to unmask the unknown gunmen, as he noted that “it is the absence of consequence that provides the climate for this type of lawlessness.”
He said: “I want to thank all those who reached out to our candidate with messages of sympathy and support after witnessing the act of sheer desperation the other day by our opponents during his visit to Degema LGA. It should be of no surprise to anyone to know that Tonye Cole is not only still active and well, but even more determined to push forward until sanity is restored to our politics again. He is neither bowed nor subdued, but is rather emboldened by his faith and his purpose. He’s here to win. And by God’s grace, he will.
“I want to use this opportunity to first call on the security agencies who are responsible for keeping the peace, to set an example that such acts will never go unpunished. It is the absence of consequence that provides the climate for this type of lawlessness. While Castro said “it is unlawful to be lawful in a lawless society”, Tonye maintains that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. Many of us were not with APC immediately after 2015, when being a member of APC was an invitation to write your will. We won’t accept that. We expect this set of security chiefs to mirror their successes elsewhere. The Niger Delta is the wealth of the nation and Rivers state is the treasure base. It must be secure.
“Secondly, let me remind the international community, particularly the US, UK and EU ambassadors that previous attempts at halting violence did not work because none of your governments had any teeth. Known candidates engaged in known violence and nothing came out of it. No travel bans, no targeted sanctions and no withdrawal of support. I was there. Every step of the way. It’s that impotence that provides a cover for no consequence. The result is a recurring cycle of violence. If we want to stop getting what we are getting, you have to stop doing what you’ve been doing. Friends should tell each other the truth.
“While we appreciate a lot of the good work both you and the security agencies are doing, it is clearly not enough in Rivers state and the cost of failure is too high. It’s measured in people’s lives. Condolences, shuttle diplomacy and speeches are simply not going to be enough.”