By Egufe Yafugborhi
THE supremacy battle between ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State and opposition All Progressives a Congress, APC, would be tested tomorrow (Saturday) as both parties fight for vacant Port Harcourt Constituency III seat in the Rivers State House of Assembly, RVHA.
Though the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cleared two other parties, Democratic Alternative (DA), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN) to participate in the August 17 exercise, the real contest is expected between candidates Worlu Dickson (APC) and Chinaka Mmerukini (PDP).
The seat became vacant after Victor Ihunwor vacated the seat to contest the office of mayor of Port Harcourt during the recent local government elections in the state. Ihunwor won the office in the election that was boycotted by the APC.
The APC is, however, not staging any boycott this time around given the determination of the party’s leaders to make a show tomorrow. Ahead of the showdown, leaders of both parties were yesterday descending on Port-Harcourt for the battle.
Head of Voters’ Education and Publicity at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Rivers State, Edwin Enaboh, in a press statement expressed the commission’s preparedness for the election. He named the candidates of the DA and MMN as respectively Gibson Tonye (DA) and Eyiba Tigida (MMN).
Enaboh’s statement further indicated that INEC had suspended ongoing voters registration exercise in PHALGA because of the by-election as the commission urged participating political parties and other key stakeholders to play the game by the rules.
Similarly, the Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Rivers State, Oliver Wolugbom called on political parties and the electorate to conduct themselves peacefully during the bye-election to achieve a hitch-free poll. Meanwhile, a mega rally for APC with Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi expected in attendance was being put together by the party in Port Harcourt at the time of filing this report as both the PDP and APC assure their faithful of victory at the end of the exercise.