From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, has explained that Tonye Cole emerged its governorship aspirant for the 2023 election, in line with its earlier promise to support the riverine extraction after 24 years of rulership by the upland extraction.
The clarification was made on Monday, in a statement issued by State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone.
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Finebone further explained that no standard bearer for the party’s governorship flag has emerged, as such could only happen pursuant to the 2022 Electoral Act and party’s rules and regulations.
He explained: “Following the overwhelming interest shown by a cross section of Rivers people, Nigerians and particularly the media over an otherwise internal mechanism activated last Friday (April 22) to pick a consensus aspirant of riverine extraction for the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State by the All Progressives Congress, APC, it has become expedient and highly necessary to provide clarification to all. This is expected to clear all doubts and provide a clear summary of what happened.
“Firstly, it must be stated that the leadership of Rivers State Chapter of APC consisting of 19 leaders met last Friday and chose a consensus aspirant of riverine extraction to contest the governorship primaries for the 2023 elections.
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“The exercise took place in the absence of Honourable Minister for Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi, who declined to participate in the process. After a thorough scrutiny of all the aspirants, Arc. Tonye Cole was chosen as he scored the highest vote among the 12 aspirants that participated.
“Secondly, for the avoidance of doubt, no standard bearer to fly the party’s governorship flag in Rivers State has emerged, as yet as such can only happen in accordance with party rules, regulations and the 2022 Electoral Act.
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“Thirdly, we recall that the party is still committed to its earlier position to support the emergence of a governor of riverine extraction after 24 years of upland governorship.”
He, however, implored party faithful to continue to go about their activities with decorum and peacefully, “as the next four weeks are bound to be busy and packed full with political activities.”