It now appears that the All progressives Congress (APC) is without a Gubernatorial candidate in Rivers State following the decision of the Supreme Court to reserve its ruling on an appeal by the party seeking to secure an order that will enable it to field candidates in the upcoming election in Rivers State.
While the incumbent Governor and PDP flagbearer, Nyesom Wike consolidates his hold on power and gears up for the election, the APC factions in the state are locked up in a struggle for who emerges the party’s sole candidate; Magnus Abe or Tonye Cole? This is also seen as an extension of the battle for the soul of the party in the state between Senator Magnus Abe and Minister of Transport; Rotimi Amaechi.
It was an embarrassment last year when two gubernatorial primaries were conducted in the state by two separate factions of the party, with two separate candidates emerging.
The first primary was conducted by the Amaechi faction, and Tonye Cole, founder Sahara Energy was declared winner. Amaechi had never hidden his desire to have the oil businessman.
Right after Cole was announced, Magnus Abe declared himself the party’s flag bearer in an alternative primary, leading to the conflict that has now threatened the party’s chances of contesting in the elections.
It became apparent that the party may have shot itself in the leg when a Federal high Court in Port Harcourt delivered a judgement on Monday, January 7, restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from presenting both Tonye Cole and Magnus Abe as governorship candidates in the general elections. The court also nullified all direct and indirect primaries conducted by both factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, saying none of them were conducted according to law.
Definitely PDP members and supporters in Rivers will be smiling at the current dreadlock in the APC and wish it will never end. Nyesom appears to be the biggest beneficiary of the conflict.