In 2017, two years after watching Wike at work, Tonye Princewill opted to rejoin forces with Amaechi in the APC to challenge the PDP government. He opted however not to contest, but to work for the success of the party. Princewill, now an avid APC member and frontline chieftain, was appointed the Director of Strategic Communication for APC’s Tonye Cole during his 2019 Gubernatorial campaign in Rivers state. Unfortunately, the APC was expelled from contesting by the Supreme Court in the 2019 elections, thereby facilitating an unchallenged path to re-election for the PDP. The scandal of the series of judgments that led to this outcome is now a subject of local, national and international scrutiny. The courts had done it again. This time wished on, not only by PDP supporters, but by APC big shots who were threatened by a stubborn Amaechi, liked by the President, becoming too powerful and was one who could upset the apple cart in 2023.
Tonye Princewill is an advocate for open government and effective public service delivery using modern technology. This earned him the nickname, the “Digital Politician.” He has sponsored several baseline studies in 2013, covering the state of the education, environment, and health sectors in Rivers State. In education, research showed that a large number of Model Secondary and Primary Schools were not finished and had been abandoned. The management of oil spillages in Rivers State, a catalyst for youth restiveness, was seen as ineffective across local governments in the State. Survey respondents reported that funds which ought to have gone into cleaning and sanitisation of their communities were diverted by local officials. These findings also support press reports about corruption in government allocations to oil-producing areas. In the area of health, there is widespread disenchantment about the lack of improvement within the sector. Weak health service delivery in Rivers State is forcing many patients to seek medical attention at unregulated traditional medicine shops or to embark on self medication. Challenges associated with HIV/AIDS, the lack of qualified health professionals, and unfinished health project were also serious concerns among respondents. These findings substantiate reports in the press that raise questions about the efficacy of funds injected into the sector by the Rivers State administration.
Princewill is still active on the political scene and continues to advocate for a reform in governance. During a 2019 interview to celebrate his 50th birthday, he is stated, “My political career is intact. Good people are becoming more and more critical to move Nigeria forward. When Nigerians realise we cannot continue like this, they will look for people like us or younger versions to exhibit excellence and toughness combined. I do not have to be the one running for office, but either way I will be involved.” Princewill also continues to invest in his business interests, youth empowerment in Nigeria and is currently working on another upcoming Blockbuster centered around Boko Haram, with a release date TBD. When asked about the link between politics, entertainment and his other interests like philanthropy, he replied, “Image is everything. We are inspired by what we see, hear or feel. My purpose is to inspire and in the process, I don’t intend to leave anybody behind.