By Egufe Yafugborhi
Supporters of Senator Magnus Abe’s governorship aspiration in Rivers State are banking on the use of direct primaries to circumvent what they claim is the plot by the Rotimi Amaechi led the party in the state to shut out their man from his aspiration.
Abe who after his re-election to the Senate drifted away from the Amaechi camp was the first to declare his governorship aspiration to the chagrin of many members of the group.
The Rotimi Amaechi led caucus at a major stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos last week endorsed billionaire oil trader Tonye Dele Cole as the group’s choice for the governorship.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who was a major contender and flew the ticket of the party in the 2015 election quickly gave in to the collective choice and gave his support for “his brother” Cole.
Abe has, however, acted differently.
A source in the Abe camp told Vanguard: “I am not aware of any meeting where a decision was taken. I was not invited to any meeting. Tonye Cole is welcome to the fold, but I am running for the ticket.”
The source revealed that Abe’s hope to upstage Amaechi’s endorsement of Cole rested on the adoption of direct primaries.
“You know we do not recognise the Amaechi imposed party. It remains rejected by a court of competent jurisdiction, and we believe the Chief Davies Ikanya led executive remains the authentic Rivers APC.
“We know their antics, but the party has adopted direct primaries which will allow all genuine Rivers APC members to choose their flag bearer and against an obscure anointed proxy, we know where the votes of the people will go. Abe will win a lawful primary, no shaking about that.
Abe in his reflection had added that “Those who have been endorsed and those of us who have not been endorsed are free to contest. We believe there will be a level playing field. That is the change the party has promised, and we hope it would be fulfilled.”