Tonye Cole, Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant, has said his emergence as a consensus candidate for the 2023 polls is unbiased and quite humbling.
In a statement by Mr. Cole in Port Harcourt, he explains that the decision was not lightly but after a heavy debate, and also his emergence as standard-bearer led to many lessons in 2019, which, the party leader Rotimi Amaechi erroneously labels as an imposition.
However, reacting to Cole’s emergence, one of the aspirants, who had wished to fly the party’s flag,
Tonye Princewill, said he had to swallow his ambition as he was a signatory to a pact that aspirants
would support whoever emerged party’s candidate.
More on Tonye Cole’s Consensus Emergence
According to Mr. Princewill, the agreement compels him to live up to the rules of the game by supporting Cole. Princewill said: “The decision has now been made for him to fly the flag. The minister did not make it; leaders of the party made it. The 10 aspirants, plus two new names that had also indicated interest”
Furthermore, he said politely they asked them to excuse themselves, while 13 leaders present, minus the minister, were deliberating.
“We were called back along with the minister a few hours later, to be given their decision. While we didn’t go into details of the parameters for their decision, we respect their judgment and wisdom in arriving at it. Politics is a process, it can be brutal, but it is what it is, while we are what we are.”
He also urges his supporters to remain firm and resolute, assuring that the perfect will of God will prevail.
Mr. Tonye Cole on his Emergence
He said: “All 12 aspirants were invited to a meeting on Friday 22nd April, where 19
key party elders and leaders, including the party Chairman Chief Emeka Beke, were tasked to arrive at
a consensus candidate for the party.
Others present were Sen. Andrew Uchendu, Chief Sam Jaja, Chief Victor Giadom, Oji Ngofa, Maureen Tamuno, Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Onari Brown, George Tolofari to name a few. The Minister categorically stated that the committee was fully at liberty to arrive at any aspirant they deemed best suited and he would abide by their recommendation.
“I want to use this medium to thank the committee for an unbiased assessment that ended up putting me forward as the consensus candidate. Also, I am not in any doubt that it took tremendous bravery for them to make this decision in the face of serious pressure, especially as my co-aspirants are all eminently qualified for the job. I want to thank all the aspirants for their magnanimous attitude and pledge of support to me and loyalty to the party.”
By Taiyelolu A