The recent endorsement of the governorship flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Pastor Tonye Cole, by all Kalabari monarchs and stakeholders has been described as the final nail in the coffin of Chief Nyesom Wike’s reign in the State.
A chieftain of the APC in Rivers state, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who affirmed this in a statement circulated in Port Harcourt on Sunday, also commended the efforts of former two-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, for leading the Kalabari movement to support the governorship candidate of Pastor Tonye Cole in the next election.
It would be recalled that the chiefs and stakeholders of the Kalahari ethnic nationality recently at an extended meeting in Port Harcourt, resolved, despite their differences in party affiliations, to support their own candidate, calling on others to follow suit.
Leader of the movement, Alabo Graham-Douglas, had rationalised the need for the decision of Kalabari leadership, saying “Kalabari is in a state of confusion and scattered in their political affiliations. The chiefs thought that we should come together and end this confusion by bringing our people together.
The chiefs know that there are two political parties and if one of the main political parties has given us opportunity, we cannot just fold our hands but tell the entire Kalabari nation that we have one of our sons in the major political party.
“I must confess that since inception of democracy in this Republic I have not seen a more serious and concerted effort by the Kalabari people to take their rightful position in the politics of Rivers State. They should go ahead to enlist the support of other ethnic groups in the state to make the Tonye Cole project a reality”, the former Minister had said.
However, expressing his delight over the new development, Chief Eze observed that with Chief Victor Giadom as the Deputy governorship candidate of the party holding the Ogoni axis with Ambassador Oji Ngofa and others, Dr Dakuku Peterside, the DG NIMASA and Dr Jaja holding forte at the Opopbo axis with the support of the Ikwerres through the South South leader of APC, Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Nyesom Wike can be described as the former Governor of Rivers State come May 2019.
“With the collapse of the fantasy of Senator Magnus Abe and the success recorded so far on the ward-to-ward consultation/voter sensitisation tour by Tonye Cole coupled with the likelihood of disqualification of Governor Wike based on age discrepancy, Rivers State will soon regain her status as one of the leading state in Nigeria”, he said.
Eze finally pleaded with all tribes and sections of the state to unite under the sole candidature of Tonye Cole, “so that we can jointly erase poverty from our State and rescue our dear State from the hands of misguided elements who are at a loss on what governance is all about. Pastor Tonye Cole is a divine tool to emancipate and develop the State to a new height as envisaged by the founding fathers”.
He also recalled Cole’s concerns about the State, when he said “I’m worried about the poverty level in Rivers communities. I know poverty is a huge challenge, especially among third world nations, but I think most of these adjudged high poverty indices we should have been able at least to achieve electricity.”
Eze however, expressed his pleasure over the success of Tonye Cole’s unique ward to ward sensitization visits across the 319 wards and pleaded with all and sundry to ensure that no efforts should be spared to ensure Tonye Cole’s victory in the March 2019 polls.