2023: Any Hope For Rivers APC?

A political commentator that had discussion with this reporter last week, humorously said ‘crisis’ should be the middle name of the Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC).

The commentator had critically examined the litany of controversies that had dogged the party in the state since 2015, controversies that even prevented its candidates from being on the ballot papers in the 2019 general elections.

True to his verdict, the All Progressives Congress Rivers State chapter has stumbled from crisis to crisis, especially between 2019 and now.

The persistent crisis in the party had been laid on the doorstep of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who some members of the APC have accused of high handedness.

They alleged that Amaechi is administering the party like a sole administrator, dictating what will happen and what will not happen.

Holding this alleged dictatorial tendencies of Amaechi as an excuse, Senator Magnus Abe one of the frontline members of the party, had in 2019 broke out from the mainstream APC and formed his own faction.

Abe had gone ahead and opened his own secretariat of the APC at Waterlines Aba Road Port Harcourt, leaving Ojukaye Flag Amachree to manage Amaechi’s faction of the APC secretariat at Garrison. Since that time, APC has not been the same again.

Currently, Abe’s faction of the APC is managed by Golden Chioma who doubles as its chairman, while Emeka Beke is holding forte for Amaechi’s faction.

Crisis in the party got to a boiling point recently when Pastor Tonye Cole, a billionaire businessman and founder, Sahara Energy Company was adopted as the consensus candidate of the party.

Tonye Cole, some of the aspirants charged, joined the APC late, and according to them has not contributed much to the party, as opposed to they that had paid their dues and done so much to build the party in the state.

Expectedly, his adoption as consensus aspirant sparked off a deluge of controversies, with some of the aspirants accusing him of coming to reap where he did not sow.

For instance, Hon. Tekena Iyagba a frontline aspirant rejected Tonye Cole’s adoption, saying there was no time it was agreed in writing or verbally to a consensus as circulated in a press statement signed by George Tolofari Coordinator Progressive Aspirants Forum. Iyagba said he will go ahead to contest in the APC Governorship primaries with or without consensus candidate.

Senator Magnus Abe in the same vein took a swipe at the consensus arrangement, saying it was not binding on him. Abe had since collected, filled and submitted his nomination and expression of interest forms, signifying his intention to run for governorship.

Ojukaye Flag Amachree former chairman of Amaechi’s faction of APC who is also an aspirant for governorship who was allegedly betrayed over the issue said the APC Governorship primaries is still an open thing. He enjoined every aspirant to come and contest in the primaries saying consensus does not prevent anybody from contesting.

From the grapevines, it was also gathered that Dakuku Peterside former NIMASA boss and a frontline aspirant under the APC was not happy over the turn of event, especially as he was touted as the favoured candidate.

He may be hinging his hope now on the purported plan to make him minister if Amaechi becomes president.

The scenario painted above shows that Rivers APC is far from being united, and being in near disarray, would the party plunge into 2023 election under this situation and succeed, especially against a formidable opponent like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?

Rivers people are watching.

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