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Rivers APC mainstream forum settles for Tonye Cole as flag-bearer

Supreme Court dashes hope of APC, Cole for possible re-run of Rivers guber poll

The mobilization of guber aspirants of the riverine areas of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) into a unity forum has given birth to a consensus flagbearer.

Tonye Cole who flew the flag in 2019 but was stopped by a mass disqualification of all APC candidates through a court case was chosen to fly again. He is to face any aspirant from any other section of the state at the primaries and would be backed by all the other aspirants.

The forum is coordinated by a respected leader in the party, George Fubara Tolofari, and all of night of Friday April 22, 2022, the mainstream met and picked one person.

In a statement signed by all the 10 aspirants who had agreed on April 11, 2022 to support anyone that would emerge, the group announced the founder of Sahara Energy group as the consensus candidate, this time not seen as imposed by any one person.

This may however not stop those outside the riverine areas such as the factional head, Magnus Abe, who last week declared to run and showed he would not toe any method that excluded him from contesting.

A statement confirming the breaking news, Tolofari issued a statement Saturday afternoon which said: “On the 11th of April, 2022, we invited you all to a press briefing of the ‘Progressives Aspirants’ where 10 aspirants agreed and signed a unity accord to support any one of them that will emerge either by consensus or election at the primaries.’

Read also: Magnus Abe hits hard at APC hqtrs for giving Tonye Cole flag

He went on: “Three other aspirants from the Riverine-Ijaw extraction later indicated interest in the race after the press briefing making them 13 aspirants in all.

“Yesterday 19 leaders of our dear party met in Abuja with the 13 aspirants and unanimously adopted Tonye Cole as the consensus candidate for the Riverine-Ijaw aspirants to face any other aspirant that may wish to contest the party primaries on the platform of the APC.

“The three new entrants who later joined the aspirants forum are Tele Bertram Ikuru, Tekena Iyagba and Larry Allison (who was unavoidably absent at yesterday’s meeting due to late notice) also stand by the communique signed by the Progressives Governorship Aspirants.”

The convener called on all party members to put all differences aside and see themselves as one indivisible family. “We are party people and what should be paramount to us all is winning all electable positions in the forthcoming general elections, God being our helper.

“I also make bold to say that the leaders who made the decision were not influenced by anyone but took the decision to ensure that everyone is taken along.”

Some persons who said they did not like the person chosen said they however accept the choice of the 19 party leaders.