The race to the Brick House 2023 in Rivers State is up for grabs, as All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Architect Tonye Cole is facing an uphill task of uniting the party in the state. Senator Magnus Ngei Abe is one member of APC in Rivers State who is angry about how the State Congress was held and how it favoured Architect Tonye Cole, the party’s flag bearer for the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State. The lingering challenge of having Architect Tonye Cole as the party’s candidate is not working well with those factional groups that belong to Senator Magnus Abe as the majority of them have resigned as members of the party. Honourable Barrister Golden Chioma and Former Federal House of Representatives member, Elder Chidi Wihioka and Celestine Akpobarie have all resigned their membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
It is based on the above premise that Senator Magnus Abe has remained adamant that he won’t support Architect Tonye Cole as an APC Governorship candidate in Rivers State. For Distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, remaining in the Rivers State APC, without having his name on the ballot is an aberration as he is currently going around the state, assuring his supporters that he must be on the Rivers State Governorship ballot papers come 2023. At strategic locations in the state, Senator Magnus Abe has huge billboards urging his supporters to go and get Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) and that he must be on the Governorship ballot paper.
The Chairman of his factional group, Golden Chioma is now a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers State. With this speculation and the deadline fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for substitution of candidates as the third week of July 2022, Rivers people have been left guessing as to what Senator Abe is up to.
They are thinking he has an alternative plan of capitalising on the ongoing Court process that is challenging APC Governorship candidate, Architect Tonye Cole over an alleged 50 Million US Dollars transferred to his company, Sahara Energy while the former Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was in office. If there is an infraction in the delegates’ electoral process that threw up Tonye Cole as Governorship candidate, there may be a rerun for those who have purchased Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms.
Another mass resignation is hitting Rivers State APC with Prince Tonye Princewill resigning from the party on Tuesday, 12th of July, 2022 on the ground that he doesn’t support the nomination of Alhaji Kassim Shettima, a Muslim running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Currently, Rivers State stakeholders in APC are not being found in the distribution of national offices, including Chairmanship of NIMASA which Honourable Asita O. was holding before he resigned to run for Governorship of APC in Rivers State. Again, the former Ambassador of Nigeria in the Netherland, Ambassador Oji Ngofa is now a senatorial candidate of Rivers South-East APC which has left most of the stakeholders in a confused situation with Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi not succeeding in his Presidential ambition. As a result, there is low morale in the party followership in Rivers State.