#2023Elections: Have you met Tonye Cole, the Rivers APC Consensus Candidate?

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#2023Elections: Have you met Tonye Cole, the Rivers APC Consensus Candidate?

Against all expectations, the billionaire Architect, Tonye Cole, on Friday night emerged as the consensus candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship in Rivers state.

The choice of Cole came as a rude shock to many who earlier expected either Prince Tonye Princewill or the 2015 gubernatorial candidate, Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside.

Cole is a close ally of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi who in 2019 brought the businessman to fly the party’s flag.

The Choice of Cole for 2023 followed a meeting on Friday night when Princewill disclosed that, “the decision has just been made for Tonye Cole to fly the flag. It was not made by the Minister. It was made by the leaders of the party.

“The 10 aspirants plus two new names that had also indicated interest were asked to excuse themselves while all of the leaders minus the Minister then sat and deliberated. We were just called back along with the Minister to be given their decision.”

The ten aspirants had vowed in an agreement they signed a fortnight ago to support whoever the party leadership would decide to give the ticket of the party to contest the governorship election.

Meanwhile, the camp of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has reacted to the development and concluded that it would not support the emergence of Tonye Cole as the flag bearer of the Rivers APC.

Speaking in a telephone interview on Saturday, Barr Golden Chioma described the process of Cole’s emergence as “fraud”, adding that the business mogul will not be accepted by the APC delegates.

“This is the Minister of Transportation’s selfishness in the highest order. Cole does not have our approval. We cannot be with him, the man is not a party man. He is a business associate of the Minister of Transportation.”

“This entails that selfishness has been taken to the highest order that a man who has no business of playing politics, who has no iota of idea of playing politics is shoved down the throat of his supporters.

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