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Race to Brick House in PH: Rivers APC seems to learn 2019 lesson as 10 guber aspirants endorse unity document

Rivers APC seems to learn 2019 lesson as 10 guber aspirants endorse unity document

The All Progressives Congress (APC) which controls the federal government did not contest for any seat in Rivers State in 2019 after it had lost the oil state back to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

The party was stopped by a court that was upheld up to the Supreme Court saying the processes that threw up their entire candidates were faulty.

The court processes were initiated by a faction of the same party that lost out in the governorship primaries of the party that they perceived to have sidelined them. It looked like a case of if you can’t get the milk, spill it, so everyone would be loser.

Probably to avert a repeat, the 10 guber aspirants jostling on the APC platform reached a crucial resolution never to spill the milk should the slot elude all but one. This decision was believed to have been anchored on a greater matter of zoning whereby the party and the aspirants agreed to move the opportunity to the Riverine-Ijaw.

They made it clear that acrimony is too much and Rivers has bled enough.

Those who reached the resolution are mostly known to be followers of the former governor and now transportation minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

They include Sokonte Davies who Amaechi pushed into the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) board until recently; Dakuku Adol Peterside who Amaechi made to head the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) after he had lost to Nyesom Wike in 2015; and Tonye Cole, owner of Sahara Energy who Amaechi anointed in 2019 to fly the guber flag before the court hammer descended.

Others include Tonye TJT Princewill who was in Action Congress of old before joining Amaechi to form government in 2007; Biokpomabo Awara who Amaechi backed in his African Action Congress (AAC) to contest against Gov Wike when the court disqualified the APC.

There is Dawari George, Francis Ebenezer Ada, Mina Tende, Ojukaye Flag Amachree, and Ibinabo Michael West.

They each spoke to newsmen at the week in Port Harcourt to affirm the communiqué read by the convener, George Fubara Tolofari, one of the strong Amaechi commissioners and steady backers.

The resolution was seen as sign that the road to peace in the ever-volatile political firmament in Rivers State is being paved by the 10 aspirants that have so far declared in the APC in the state.

Division and fierce acrimony in the APC has so far pinned the federal ruling party down in the oil state. For this reason, the aspirants have come together to admit that only one person will emerge as a candidate. They have thus resolved to put acrimony aside and support whoever would emerge.

Read also: Is Rotimi Amaechi an Ikwerre, Igbo or just a Port Harcourt Boy?

Addressing a crowded media conference in Port Harcourt Monday morning, April 11, 2022, the convener who was flanked by all the aspirants said they all subscribed to the resolution. He said another major milestone was that they all agreed to support demand for Riverine-Ijaw zone.

He said all aspirants have agreed to urge their followers to avoid attacks on aspirants because their structures would be collapsed into one after the primaries.

He said the state has been bleeding for years and this must be stopped only collaboration. Each aspirant was given a chance to react to the communique and they all backed it.

Tolofari told newsmen that the communique was a fallout of series of consultations and interactions amongst the aspirants.

He said: “In the course of the meeting several key points were discussed and agreed which included: The Progressives Aspirants commend the party leadership on the peaceful and successful hosting of the party’s national convention and congratulate all those elected into the party’s National Working Committee.

“The Progressives Aspirants agreed that all aspirants should go about their consultations in a peaceful and civil manner; avoiding name-calling, insults and pulling down other aspirants to gain attention. Aspirants also agreed to caution their supporters and social media aides from attacking aspirants from opposing camps.

“The Progressives Aspirants also agreed to work in unity and support whoever emerges at the party primaries either by way of consensus or election as

exemplified by the party leadership at the just concluded national convention.”

He went on to state that; “The Progressives Aspirants called on the party leadership to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants during the primaries to give everyone a sense of belonging, fairness and equity.

“As a way of respecting the party supremacy, the aspirants resolved that immediately a candidate emerges, all aspirants will put self and ego aside and collapse their various campaign structures into the party structure to support the flag bearer to win the 2023 elections for APC in Rivers State. They called on Rivers people and residents to get their PVCs ready to vote for all APC candidates at all levels to emerge victorious in the 2023 elections.

“The Progressives Aspirants agreed to consult other stakeholders, elder Statesmen, opinion leaders and key politicians in the state to support power rotation to the Riverine-Ijaw come 2023 as a way of ensuring equity, justice and fairness in the distribution of political offices.”

They also affirmed their unalloyed loyalty to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari and our leader, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and commend him for his courage to declare his interest to run for the office of President in the 2023 elections and commended the state leadership of the party led by Emeka Beke, for keeping the party in the state together and also leading delegates to a successful convention.

The forum called on all genuine members of the APC in Rivers State to seek reconciliation, forgiveness, and to close ranks and work with the leaders of the party in the state to ensure the party wins the governorship seat and other legislative offices both at the state and national level come 2023.