Rivers State has been described as the easiest of the States of the South-South region to be taken by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Governorship in next year’s elections.
Giving this verdict in a statement issued and circulated in Port Harcourt on Monday, a Chieftain of the party, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the actions and gimmicks so far employed by the State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and Senator Magnus Abe, had made the task easier for the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole.
Eze, who was reacting to a comment, allegedly attributed to the Chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee for the South-South, who is the immediate past Governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said Aregbesola may have been misquoted as he has been listed among dignitaries that would join others on May 29, 2019, to attend the Swearing-in ceremony of Pastor Cole as Rivers state Governor.
Aregbesola had been quoted to have said Rivers state would be the hardest for the APC to win in the region, adducing the influence of Governor Wike as reason for his conclusion.
Eze reiterated that if there is any State to be easily won by APC in the region, it would be Rivers State, as Governor Wike had so far made the task of winning the State by Tonye Cole very easy, as he had demonstrated lack of capacity and ideas on how to govern a modern and sophisticated state like Rivers State.
“The fact remains that, not minding all the distractions by Wike and Abe, none of them is a match for Pastor Tonye Cole whose international exposure and unusual feats in various fields, including administration and economics, are there to separate him from the lots.
“In short, Governor Wike and Abe are the Chief campaigners for APC for the 2019 general elections by some of their untoward acts in the State. So I wish to plead with our dear leader and brother, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to relax and wait for his formal invitation for the inauguration of Arch Tonye Cole, come May 29, 2019 as the next Executive Governor of Rivers state no matter the odds”, he said.
Meanwhile, in another development, the APC chieftain, Eze, has described a plea by Senator Magnus Abe to the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to be declared as the candidate of the APC in Rivers state as absurd, laughable and a joke to be discarded.
It would be recalled that Abe had last week approached the court and pleaded to be declared the party’s candidate, but Eze, in the statement wondered where Abe was drawing his inspiration from, noting that the party already has candidates already submitted and published by INEC for all elective offices, including governorship, who were nominated from indirect primaries, supervised and approved by the party’s National Working Committee.
He went further to note that if the senator was basing his reason for the plea to the court on last week Wednesday’s Appeal Court’s ruling, his plea would be in error because the court’s ruling did not invalidate Tonye Cole’s candidacy, neither disqualify him.
“There is no order from the Court of Appeal that APC should not field candidates for the elections, it only said the APC did not obtain leave to appeal against consent judgment, which made the court to strike out the appeal. If an appeal is struck out, you can always come back to do the needful. With this fact it becomes laughable,frivolous and baseless for Abe to seek to be declared the rightful candidate for next year’s polls as he neither participated or contested for any office during the duly approved primaries of the party”, he explained.
Eze, however, advised Abe to stop his war against the party he claimed to be a part of, adding further that his plot with Wike to destroy APC in the State would end in futility as Cole would without failing be sworn as the Rivers state Governor come May 29th, 2019.
“We are aware of the type of fear Wike is having over the candidature of Tonye Cole, knowing very well that he will send him to the cleaners during the elections and that is why he is doing everything untowardly to frustrate his candidature, but he should stop wasting his time, he should instead start writing his handover note.
“The plot of Abe thinking of clinching the APC ticket and later step down for Governor Wike is a plot that failed even before it was hatched as he will be the last person to fly the flag of APC in any further election. All his untoward plots against the party are exposed”, Eze said.