The resolve by most of the leaders and stakeholders of the Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt Arch. Tonye Cole as its consensus governorship candidate has been hailed as the most potent answer to Governor Nyesom Wike’s misrule of the state.
A chieftain of the APC in the state, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who stated this in a statement issued and signed in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, also praised the vision of the Minister for Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is the leader of the party in the state, as well as all other leaders for agreeing on such a brilliant choice.
Chief Eze, who noted that the choice of Arch. Cole is the answer to the perceived injustice done to the riverine segment of the state, which had not had a shot at ruling the State since the advent of the current democratic dispensation, also commended the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, Prince Tonye Princewill, Davies Sokonte, Dr Dawari George and others eminently qualified leaders of the party for the office for coming together to achieve the unity of purpose and agreeing to support the Cole candidacy.
Eze noted that Arch. Cole’s stepping down from Sahara Group as Chief Executive Officer, to enable him participate actively in the Rivers state’s governorship race is a positive step towards sacking the Wike administration.
“It is gladdening to note that his candidature has been sanctioned and accepted by most key stakeholders of the party, which will surely enable him clinch the party’s ticket during the primary to elect its candidate. This is a good sign, which demonstrates total departure from the normal practice in which politicians aspire for offices without any defined vision on what to do with governance when they eventually get power.
“With the resolve of APC to field a riverine candidate of Ijaw extraction, particularly from the great tribe of Kalabari Kingdom, the injustice of upland governing Rivers State for twenty years to the determent of the Riverine area could have been addressed.
“The choice of the party to settle for a candidate like Arch Tonye Cole, whose intimidating credentials are something that will aid the party in her efforts and mission to change the fortunes of Rivers state positively, is commendable. This internationally acclaimed billionaire and son of a former Managing Director of Daily Times Newspaper and former Ambassador of Nigeria to Brazil, Pa Patrick Dele Cole, will actually send shivers down the spine of Governor Nyesom Wike and his handlers.
Chief Eze the erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New PDP (NPDP) further described Tonye Cole as God fearing, highly cerebral and uniquely unassuming and is convinced that he will lead Rivers State into a new era of prosperity; an era when our young men will be empowered to work hard and earn a living, rather than carrying guns.
“The coming up of Pastor Tonye Cole reminds me of one of the adages of Prince Tonye Princewill another great son of Rivers State that politics is too big to be left in the hands of politicians. With the coming of this seasoned administrator who can turn sand into gold, Rivers state will soon take her rightful position among developed states in Nigeria
“With this position of picking her candidate from the Riverine area of the State, Rivers State APC has once again demonstrated that it is a party that respects the peculiarity of the politics of Rivers State and believer in the principles of equity, justice and fairness. With the general and overwhelming acceptance of a Kalabari son in the person of Tonye Cole, I wish to plead with all great sons and daughters of this great tribe to reach out to the Ogonis, Andonis, Ikwerres and other tribes to make this dream a reality”, he pleaded.
Eze also pleaded with Chief Nyesom Wike to desist from trying to bring the character and person of Senator Bola Tinubu into disrepute by insinuating that he recommended and imposed Tonye Cole on the party to enhance his business activities in Rivers State.
“This reaction by Wike is unacceptable to the leadership of APC in Rivers State as it presents us as incapable of selecting and electing our candidates on our own terms accordingly.
“Wike’s reaction on the coming of Tonye Cole shows that he is already frightened and I wouldn’t be shocked if he considers resigning before the election to avoid the embarrassment of awful defeat that awaits him if he summons courage to contest.
Eze stated further that “it is time to put our best to work and the time is now as I am convinced that with Tonye Cole’s global connections, he will attract investments and woo his friends in the private sector to Rivers State for the creation of Rivers State of our dream so let us leave sentiments aside and support him for a better Rivers of opportunities
“Politics truly is a serious business to be left in the hands of a person like Nyesom Wike so it comes to me a great relief for Pastor Tonye Cole to accept to offer himself to rescue Rivers state from its present pitiable state under the hold of some misfits that do not understand what governance is all about”, he said.