By Egufe Yafugborhi
The General Election in Rivers State had been predicted to be a major showdown with the immediate past governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi allegedly determined to use federal might to undo what his successor, Nyesom Wike allegedly did using the same federal might four years ago. With Amaechi’s All Progressives Congress, APC denied recognition in the contest, the prospect of the contest turning into an anti-climax is staring even Amaechi’s strongest allies in the face.
Two weeks ago, the immediate past governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside flew into Port-Harcourt ostensibly to raise the flagging morale of party operatives in the state.
Speaking to newsmen Peterside, a strong ally of Amaechi assured that the party would contest for all positions in the forthcoming General Election despite the fact that the court had denied the party recognition.
However, with the first election now less than three weeks away, reality seems to be staring party members in the face and with it the prospect of political oblivion.
Indeed, despite the assurances from the APC leadership, teeming party faithful, distraught by the turn of avoidable party misfortunes are joining an exodus to alternative parties.
A party chieftain who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said: “The tide of movement had been predictable before the Rivers APC crisis degenerated to this increasingly hopeless depth.”
One prospect for party operatives is Accord which is now flaunting Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as governorship candidate. Lulu-Briggs contested for the APC ticket but was denied as Amaechi and his henchmen stuck with Mr. Tonye Cole of Sahara Energy.
There are also emerging indications that the Magnus Abe faction of the party may itself be inclining itself towards a second term for Governor Nyesom Wike.
Accord Party now the contender to beat -Horsfall.
Chief Donald AK Horsfall, House of Representatives hopeful for Akuku Toru/Asari Toru Federal Constituency in Accord said his party is now the party to beat in Rivers under the circumstance.
Horsfall declared, “One reason why this is so is because as far as Rivers is concerned, as far as the law is concerned, there is no APC. We just had a judgment which reiterated that fact, no APC candidate at any level in Rivers, the status quo remains until overturned.
“Knowing the Appeal Court do thorough jobs, we have every confidence that an Appeal Court judgment will be upheld by the Supreme Court. So, APC, first of all, is not a factor as it stands now. Anything they hope to do is future wishes.
“We (Accord) are now the David in this situation of David and Goliath. The personality of Chief Barrister Dumo Lulu Briggs is well known throughout Rivers and beyond. We are the party to beat.”
Horsfall’s assertions are, however, countered by those who claim that the suggestion of a new political party like Accord having the ascendancy over the PDP in Rivers would be herculean.