Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt
As the endorsement of Tonye Dele Cole by the Amaechi-led faction of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State continue to generate mixed reactions, Senator Magnus Abe, a governorship aspirant has kicked against the nomination.
The senator said that it was done without any known party criteria and therefore of no consequence.
Senator Abe, who represents the Rivers South East disclosed this in Eleme, in Eleme local Government area while opening a branch of his campaign office.
The senator who has fallen out of favour with the leader of party in the state, Chibuike Amaechi and Minister of Transportation, resorted to pidgin English while addressing his supporters.
”If some leaders gathered together in Lagos to choose a person who will govern Lagos, with that there is no problem, but if they met in Lagos to choose a person who will govern Rivers State, that we will not agree.”
“If some APC leaders chose candidate in Lagos; that one is for Lagos. Other leaders will choose theirs for Rivers,” he said.
PMNEWS also gathered that the national leadership of the party has rejected Senator Abe’s parallel APC executives in the state with a letter addressed to Chief Ojukaye Flag Amachree, the chairman of the Amaechi faction of the APC.
For instance, the letter of invitation made available to our Correspondent in Port-Harcourt, for the just concluded APC NEC meeting, dated 30th August 2018, from the national Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomole,and signed by Hon. Mai Mala Buni, National Secretary was specifically addressed to the State Chairman, Chief Ojukaye Flag Amachree.
Meanwhile, Tonye Cole has resigned from Sahara Group, to contest the Rivers State governorship election in 2019.
In a two-page statement, the company restated its apolitical stand, stressing that in line with the group’s corporate governance policy, it neither “sponsors nor backs any political party or actor in all of the markets it operate, including Nigeria.
The statement came on the heels of media reports that Cole had already been endorsed as the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Party, (APC) in Rivers State for the 2019 governorship election.
The statement read: “The Sahara Group wishes to state for the record that as a non-political and non-partisan group, it is not affiliated to any political party in any country we operate in and does not engage in Nigerian politics. Cole’s decision to participate in active politics is his individual preference and choice to which he is entitled.
“In accordance to Sahara Group’s Corporate Governance Charter and International best practice which prohibits any of our key Management or Board members from partaking in active politics, promoting or supporting any particular political organization or ideology, Cole has resigned all his board appointments and day to day responsibilities for the Sahara Group companies and its affiliates with immediate effect.”
Stakeholders of the party who said they were part of Tonye Dele Cole’s endorsement and not Amaechi alone are swelling by the day.
They include Prince Tonye Princewill, former Governorship candidate of Labour party, 2015, Dr Dawari George, former member of House of Representatives, Chief Dumo-Lulu Briggs, former PDP Governorship Aspirant in 2015, Dr. Dakuku Peterside APC governorship candidate in 2015 and others.
On his part, Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed not to allow Tonye Cole defeat him come 2019 because that will amount to handing over the resources of the state to two business partners, Amaechi and Tonye Cole.
Below is the letter from the APC national headquarters endorsing Hon. Ojukaye Flag Amachree as the authentic Rivers APC Chairman.