- Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has reportedly endorsed an oil mogul, Tonye Cole, as APC candidate for 2019 Rivers governorship election
- It was gathered that Amaechi's close ally, Dakuku Peterside, has also endorsed Cole
- A faction APC led by Senator Magnus Abe, had on Friday, August 17, commissioned its party secretariat in the state
Ahead of the 2019 governorship elections, the minister of the transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has reportedly endorsed the founder of the Sahara energy resources limited, oil and gas, Tonye Dele Cole, as his preferred candidate to fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state.
Legit.ng regional reporter in Port Harcourt, Tony Ihunwo, reports that although Amaechi, who is the leader of the party has not made his choice official, his very close ally and the director general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, who was the the party's governorship candidate in 2015 and his deputy governorship candidate, Asita Asita, have both pledged their support Cole as the APC gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election.
It was gathered that Peterside, who made his support official in a statement he personally signed on Friday, August 31, and made available to called on APC faithful to rally support behind Cole, whom he called “my friend and brother in Christ”, for the sake of APC and the ordinary people of Rivers state.
In the statement which he captioned: “Unity to Triumph”, Peterside, recalled his earlier commitment to stand by whatever decision Amaechi would make in the overall interest of the party and Rivers state.
“I reiterated my position yesterday in the leadership meeting. I thus stand by the decision on TDC (Tonye Dele Cole)”, Peterside said.
He said that APC and its members in Rivers state had toiled to build the party, which involved loss of lives.
“We have toiled from 2013 to date (a period of five years ) and have made sacrifices and lost lives in course of enthroning the kind of government we want in Rivers State; a government that will guarantee peace , unity and prosperity. In course of the struggle we bonded as one, indivisible family under God", he said.
Peterside, who noted that Amaechi’s decision on Cole had met “mixed reactions” which he said was expected, however, noted that the greater good of APC and Rivers state should be paramount.
“To those who believe in the vision I shared in the past 5 years, the leadership I gave at various times and the path of loyalty to the cause I have chosen over time, I urge you all to stand by the Leader, the party and the ordinary people of rivers state in support of TDC . I personally pledge my loyalty to the Leader (who is to me family) and the decision he has made. I enjoin all my supporters to queue behind our leader CRA(Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi) and ensure total victory for our party.”
However, APC in Rivers state through its publicity secretary, Chris Finebone, said the party is unaware of such endorsement by Amaechi to pick somebody neutral to the political bickering that has led to two parallel secretariats of the party in the state. as it has not been made official.
Finebone said that party's constitution does not give room for adoption as as Governorship Aspirants would have to contest in the forthcoming Governorship primaries.
"The process for choosing candidates, whether Presidential, Governorship and State Assembly as ratified by National Working Committee (NWC), does not recognize adoption. If people are are speculating who the leader (Amaechi) would support, he has always made it clear that he would support somebody but whoever he would support has not been made known ".
Amaechi had always made it clear before those who do not agree with him have rights to express it obviously during the primaries.
Asita in his reaction, described that the choice of Cole, a Kalabari, Riverine and big player in oil and gas industry falls into the desire of APC to shift power to the Riverine part of the state.
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He said: "From 1999 to date, that is: Peter Odili, Celestine Omehia, Chibuike Amaechi and Nyesom Wike who will complete 20 years for the the upland.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that political tension gripped members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers as well as residents of Port Harcourt, the capital of the state, as a factional office of the party is scheduled for opening on Friday, August 17.
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