– Ooni of Ife, Obi of Onitsha, Emir of Dutse to honour late monarch.
“He was a perfect gentle man, imbued with dignity”, were the words used by the elder statesman and former Minister in the First Republic.
The Ijaw leader rued the fact that the demise of King Prof. T.J.T Princewill, the Amanyanabo of Kalabari was a great loss to the academic community, the Ijaw nation and to Nigeria. He prayed God to grant the family of the deceased monarch and the Ijaw Nation the fortitude to bear the loss. The Ijaw leader stated this when he received the son of the King, Prince Tonye Princewill, Chief Dr David Briggs and Sir Opunabo Inko-Tariah at his Abuja residence on Saturday night.
The PANDEF leader who was quite elated, as expressed in his speech and the warm reception for his guests, promised to attend the funeral in person. He further seized the opportunity to call for unity in ijaw land – hoping that the burial of the King will foster even greater unity amongst the Ijaws.
In his opening statement, the son of the King and Chairman, Central Working Committee of the burial, Prince Tonye, said that the visit was meant to formally brief the elder statesman on the funeral rites of the King. He noted that given the status of Chief Clark, it is only proper for the delegation to brief him in person rather than via a letter and implored him to attend should circumstances permit.
In a related development, prominent non-indigenes have also indicated an interest in giving the Kalabari king a befitting farewell. Assuring Prince Princewill of their support during a courtesy call visit, the Dan – Amanar of Dutse, Alhaji Nasir Danu, said the transiting king was not just a father to the Kalabari kingdom, but to all those who came in contact with him.
Alhaji Danu who promised that he will grace the funeral with the Emir of Dutse and his cabinet, promised to support in anyway he can to ensure the King gets a befitting farewell recalling the King’s own visit to Dutse in 2017 and his many interactions. “Your father left legacies in the North of Nigeria before he did in the South. We know him, we know his nature and we will be there to celebrate him and his life”.
Similarly, the Ooni of Ife and the Obi of Onitsha also promised to honour King Princewill’s funeral as a mark of solidarity and respect for their departed royal brother. They both described the King as a perfect gentleman whose legacies both as a lecturer and on the throne shall remain pleasantly evergreen. His demise- the Obi noted, was like a lethal weapon that hit him at his mid-riff. “He was both my friend and brother”. They all prayed God to grant King Princewill’s family, the Kalabari kingdom and the good people of Rivers State the fortitude to bear the loss.
“He will be greatly missed”, were the words of the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass and first governor of old Rivers State, King A.P Diete-Spiff. The Ijaw
King who also promised to honour the funeral with his full cabinet, said King Princewill’s legacies shall forever speak for him insisting that he would personally visit the Kingdom to condole with the family beforehand.