Good Night, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry

Two Wednesdays ago, I spoke with Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry, the former speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, through a mobile cell phone. Our discussion lasted for some good number of minutes, and it was centered on employment policy and development in the Degema Local Government Council. Little did I know that, it would be the last time I will communicate with Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry.

I was shocked when I heard the news of the death of the former Speaker and the leader of Degema politics. It was like a thunderbolt. Rt. Hon. Tonye Princewill until his death last week, was the representative of the people of Degema in the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry assumed the leadership of Degema politics shortly after the death of Dr. Marshall Harry. Dr. Marshall Harry, a crusader for good governance was brutally murdered at his Abuja residence on March 5, 2003 by unknown gunmen.

As Deputy Speaker for eight years and Speaker for four years, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry’s political tentacles had spreaded across the nooks and crannies of the twenty-three (23) local government areas of Rivers State.

The ex-Speaker had no doubt effectively represented the people of Degema constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The death of Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry is very painful especially at this time when both politicians and none politicians are clamouring for a Kalabari or an Ijaw Governor in 2015.

Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry would have been one of the most qualified persons to be chosen as a governor in 2015, if the political coast clears for the Kalabari or the Ijaw man.

In a time such as this, the Kalabari ethnic nationality is gtieve to miss a strong politician like Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry. The vacuum created by his sudden demise will be very difficult to fill.

Death is not so strong as people think. Death is a coward. If the death that snatched Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry, last Thursday, appeared to him in a human form, I do not think that it could be able to defeat the erudite parliamentarian.

Death always come through the widow, not the door to snatch its victim. Death I repeat is a coward. May the gentle soul of my uncle, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry rest in the bosom of the Lord. ###



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