By: Felix Ikpotor
The dice is finally cast for who will be the flag-bearer of the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State come 2019.
He is Mr. Dele Cole, a business mogul and longtime friend of the transportation minister.
The choice of Mr. Cole as the sole candidate of the Transportation Minister and leader of the party in the state was made known yesterday after a meeting he allegedly convened.
Amaechi before now had insisted on a riverine governor, hence his decision to anoint the Kalabari-born businessman who is said to be a stranger to Rivers politics did not come as a surprise to members of the party in the state.
Before now, the only known aspirant on the platform of the party in the state was Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, the lawmaker representing Rivers South East in the National Assembly.
Abe had in May this year, while inaugurating his campaign office in Port Harcourt, declared his intention to contest the governorship election in the state on the platform of the APC.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has finally accepted defeat in the race.
Peterside who had been hopeful that he will get the leader’s anointing said in a statement circulated by his media office that he has accepted the decision of Amaechi.
Peterside’s statement in full:
Yesterday our leader , Rt Hon C R Amaechi, whom we all subscribe to his leadership made a decision of whom we should back for the office of the Governor of Rivers State in 2019. The lot fell on my friend and brother in Christ , Tonye Dele Cole .
- I made a commitment to the group earlier to stand by whatever decision the leader makes 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 .
- We have toiled from 2013 to date ( a period of five years ) and have made sacrifices & 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.
- The decision by the Leader has been meet with mixed reactions, which is expected. My appeal is that we allow the greater interest of APC & RVS to prevail .
- To those who believe in the vision I shared in the past 5 years , the leadership I gave at various times & 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 & ensure total victory for our party.
- I pray for unity among the members of APC & VICTORY in the 2019 election.
Dakuku Peterside PhD