…Says, 'His Interests, Beneficiaries Are All Non-Indigenes'
There appears to be a major spanner in the works for former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in his bid to install billionaire businessman, Tonye Patrick Cole as his choice for the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for next year General Election in the State.
This follows the rejection of Cole on Saturday by a pan-Kalabari watch group, the Kalabari Democratic Front during an interactive programme with students from higher institutions of learning on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Anchor of the programme and popular rights activist, Charles Inko-Tariah said the choice of Tonye Cole as answer to the quest by Kalabari to become governor would amount to a grave error as such action would translate to mortgaging their chance on the altar of political patronage.
In the programme which was tagged 'Defending Kalabari Land', Inko-Tariah, a Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2015 General Election urged Kalagbaris not to 'fall prey' to the candidature of Tonye Cole as the choice for Kalagbari governor, adding that the Lagos-born billionaire whose grandmother hailed from Abonnema 'does not have any people-oriented antecedents around riverine area or Rivers State in general'.
“With due respect to Tonye Cole, we know he is a successful businessman as we read and hear on the social media and other news platforms. But we all know that there is no impact of his success story and business activities affecting the wellbeing of the Kalabaris or the Rivers people.
“Available records show he has well over four hundred workforces in his different business platforms, but Rivers people in the above workforce are less than two percent. It would be an error to allow a man whose interest and beneficiaries are all non-indigenes to rule as a governor of Rivers State”, said Inko-Tariah.
Inko-Tariah who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the group, said the only record, as far as Kalabaris could remember about the Amaechi's choice candidate was what he said is Cole's collusion with the former Governor who he described as his business ally, to “dislodge the Kalagbari settlers of Njemanze and Abonnema Wharf communities about six years ago and own the entire community land to themselves”, adding that Kalabaris were yet to recover from ugly incidence.
He vowed that Kalabari people would not allow their chance to become the Governor of Rivers State, when the right time comes, to be “hindered or gambled with this hasty, unpopular and ill-timed association”.
The obviously enraged activist went on: “Politics is a people-oriented business neither is it a personal profit-oriented. It is centered on popularity contest and not by anointing.
“As an ethnic nationality, we need to engage in proper negotiations with other ethnic nationalities and form possible alliance to take over the Brick House when the right time comes. I think we should be very careful and cautious of his political gimmicks”.
He emphasized that as a people, the life, destiny and future of Kalabaris cannot be centered on what he described as political affiliations and business thinking or patronage, adding “we are Rivers people and have to be very wise about this”.
By Ken Asinobi