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ISSUES ABATTOIR: Exit of Rivers Ex-Speaker, Court Verdict: An Immense Lesson

HON. TONYE HARRYAn Iroko tree with valuable substances has fallen without one to rescue, restore or revive it, what a wonderful world we live.

This is an indication that no individual or creature is greater, stronger and intelligent than God, the creator of the universe and the all knowing.

The Rivers State House of Assembly was adjudged the best State House of Assembly from the new era of partisan politics or if you like, call it the current democratic dispensation beginning from 1999 to 2011.

It was so because someone was there at the helm of its affairs, putting it to the admiration of both spectators and the world alike. The incumbent occupant of the Rivers State Brick House, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was the then speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007.

But in these eight (8) years of two tenures in office the then speaker spent most of his time to serve the people in another country, leaving the responsibility for his then deputy, now of blessed memory, Rt. Hon. Tonye Ezekiel Willie Harry, JP.

Being saddled with such magnitude of responsibility, the then deputy speaker, and leader of Degema politics, now of blessed memory, Rt. Hon. Tonye E. W. Harry served with diligence, respect to elders, People of Rivers State and the ruling PDP in particular.

The fame that greeted Rivers State House of Assembly then, was characterized on Rt. Hon. Harry’s untiring efforts, magnamity, administrative prowess and legislative competence. I am aware that some of my regular readers may like to debate on this but that is the truth or one should ask himself, of what time has his boss to manage the House as he was always outside the Country.

At the expiration of the constitutional two tenure of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi as speaker, the late Rt. Hon. Tonye Ezekiel Willie Harry, JP having won the Degema State Constituency seat was elected speaker in 2007, during the Sir Celestine N. Omehia’s Government.

Though he was a governor for one day, his track records as speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly cannot be said to be poor otherwise, RSHA could not have been adjudged, the best in Nigeria.

If you will ask me, I am not writing his biography, yet something is paramount in life that our activities will speak for us in due course, even as a song writer says in SS&S 789 “Must I go and empty handed, must I meet my Saviour so, not one soul with which to greet Him, must I empty handed go?” Every individual must give an account of his or her deeds before the Almighty God when they shall stand before Him. And on earth according to SS&S789 “Only be remembered by what we have done …”

In the Rivers State House of Assembly, Association of Nigeria Houses of Assembly speakers and Africa Parliament in general, Late Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry as fondly called would not be forgotten with ease.

If I am not disputed possibly by negative critics, then the late icon, revered lawmaker, sport friendly Obuama son is indeed an iroko tree that has fallen unexpectedly having no one to rescue him at this point.

What a mystery of the Almighty God, that in reviving, no one irrespective of class, wealth or status could revive a dead person except Him alone.

If God could be questioned or touched the entire Obuama citizenry if not part of Rivers State could have dragged and forced God to restore late Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry; what a wonderful God.

The question begging for an urgent answer now is what was the late ex-speaker’s political stance or position in the ongoing political rift in Rivers State before his demise?

As the lifeless body of the revered former speaker is yet to be laid to rest, there are contentions over who should bury him or not. The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on one side, the Government of Rivers State led by late Harry’s boss, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on another side and the Grassroot Development Initiative, GDI, quarrelling over the burial of a man. These groups also promised training the children of the deceased.

The GDI in conjunction with the ruling party had already constituted the burial committee for the late lawmaker, what an interesting step, but in all these arguments can one simple rule out tension or fracas on the day of the burial? It is left for all to answer.

My focus on this episode as questioned in the above paragraph is to examine the political stance of the late speaker in Rivers State and ofcourse derive some lessons from it.

Having said so, it will be confusing to state which of the divide was late Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry. However, it is on record that until his demise he was a very senior stakeholder in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP hence if the PDP desire to bury him the choice is welcomed.

The current rift in the party has pitched the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi against the ladder with which he climb to where he is today and becoming a frontliner of the disbanded New PDP.

With the foregoing, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party whose umbrella the late speaker secured his position may play a vital role than the divide of the governor of the state. However, the speaker was loyal to the governor.

Now, here comes the contemplation of many as why the various groups wants to exercise authority over the burial of the icon. Did the late former speaker despite being a member of the ruling Party and playing his loyalty to Gov. Amaechi, further extended his loyalty and activities to the GDI and the ruling party led by Felix Obuah?

You know in Rivers State now, it is either you are for Gov. Amaechi or Hon. Felix Obuah, while the former is associated with the disbanded New PDP, the later is of the main stream PDP,  the original PDP.

In the Rivers State House of Assembly, it is either you are of the 27 or for the 5 lawmakers. Few hours later on the evil day in the Assembly where the late ex-speaker was absent from sitting as he was said to be in France by Rt. Hon. Dan Otelemba Amachree, in the Rivers State Government House, the late ex-speaker who probably must have flew in from France that same day was made one of the speakers on that incident. It was aired on radio and Television stations as well as reported in the Newspapers.

He (the late ex-speaker) was physically identified as one of the 27 lawmakers and if something was not going wrong, why should the GDI or the Obuah led PDP lay claims to the burial of the late lawmaker.

Could it be right to state that he may have also be romancing or parleying with the Obuah led PDP in the state? No one could justify that now as he is no more to speak for himself. Whatever the groups may say may be ordinary claims.

But, one thing is clear that change is the only paramount thing in life. I have said it before and I will continue saying it and I can say it now that the so called or self acclaimed 27 now 26 lawmakers are not all true Amaechi supporters, I don’t need a native doctor not even my prophet and pastor to tell me about that. Time will tell.

I profess two lessons from the scenarios in the state as it affect the burial of the man I admired so much because of his political prowess.

That he (the late lawmaker) was confirmed and confessed to be a true party man, dedicated, hardworking, focused and a Goodman by both the governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the supervising minister of Education, Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike led groups on condolence visit to the family, is a reason to note why the both groups should fight to bury him.

It should also be a very serious reason why they should reconcile their differences not even to rejuvenate it after burial.

To me, it is a lesson that individuals should take their decisions while alive and be firm about it and never to be beaten about the bush. Remember, it is written in the scriptures that you should train up a Child in the way he should go, that when he is old he will not depart from it.

That Biblical injunction simply implies that if you cannot take your decision while healthy and alive, then others will take it against you when you are no more. If you know your way, nobody can change it, even in your absence.

The recent court verdict delivered in an Abuja Federal High Court has disbanded the New PDP, therefore taking a stand or decision in life is very vital in the life of every individual especially such decisions that are right and cogent.

Are you a politician, pagan, Christian or what have you, take your decisions today, stop been hypocritical. ###


With James Mgboineme


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