Two incidents took place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, at the weekend, at same time, that have direct bearing on political developments in Rivers State. First, Tonye Cole was given the APC flag to run for governorship of oil-rich Rivers State. Next, his fiercest rival in the party, Magnus Abe, who organized his own primaries and has kept the ticket stricken with fears in the courts in the land, hailed President Buhari and also assured that APC would win in Rivers State.
He equally made remarks to indicate that reconciliation was on the way in Rivers APC. Some media voices in the Ojukaye APC have raised glasses of wine, saying this was a positive development. There is silence on the Abe camp.
Observers however say such open statements may not be all that is needed to show unity, pointing out that often, such statements point to opposite intentions. Abe has been accused of working hand in glove with APC biggest threat, Gov Nyesom Wike, but Abe has not bothered to deny this.
Just few days before the APC presidential rally in Uyo, Abe had said something that Wike repeated at another occasion, an indication that such men either share same opinion of Amaechi or are in close touch. Abe said no one man can decide the fate of Rivers State; Wike said no one man should control the destiny of Rivers people, all within hours apart.
Now, Abe, the Senator representing the Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has said that no one can stop President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid in next year’s general election.
Abe stated this in Port Harcourt on his arrival from Akwa Ibom State where he attended the South-South Presidential Campaign launch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Uyo on Friday.
He commended the leadership of the APC in Akwa-Ibom and the immediate past Governor of the State, Senator Godswill Akpabio for their efforts in ensuring the success of the event.
The Senator also commended the people of Akwa-Ibom for the hospitality they displayed in ensuring that the event was successful.
He said, “I want to congratulate all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the successful launch of our Presidential Campaign in the country yesterday (Friday).
“It was indeed a remarkable, memorable event and I particularly want to appreciate members of the APC in Rivers State who turned out in their numbers to support the President and support the party.
“I want to say that the hospitality of the good people of Akwa Ibom State was quite commendable and the great efforts and extent that they went to make the occasion successful was a source of joy to all of us from the South-South Geo-political Zone who were part of that epoch-making event.
“I thank the leaders of the party in Akwa-Ibom State, particularly the uncommon transformer, the uncommon defector, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Gubernatorial Candidate of our great party in Akwa-Ibom State and Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), His Excellency, Obong Nsima Ekere.
“It was indeed a well-planned event that has sent shock waves across the political landscape of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is now clear to the entire country that the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari is imminent and unstoppable.
“I also want to congratulate the President and thank him for the constitution of the Presidential Campaign Council.
“The constitution of the Campaign Council and the inclusive nature of it, has made it clear to all Nigerians that the President is ready to work with everybody and that the President’s Campaign is the business of all APC members.
“I particularly thank him for the inclusion of members of the National Assembly in the campaign council, which makes me a member of the campaign council.
“And to assure the President and the All Progressives Congress (APC) that we will do our best to ensure that the APC is victorious in Rivers State.
“Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to members of our party in Rivers State to remain calm and committed and continue to work for the success of the party.
“All challenges within the APC in Rivers State will be resolved and by the grace of God, the party will emerge victorious in the State not only in the Presidential election but in all other elections that are to take place in Rivers State,” the Senator stated.
He thanked God for granting members of the party from Rivers State journey mercies to and from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital without any mishap.