By Omeiza Ajayi
Abuja—Ahead of the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship primary election in Rivers State, a former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Labour Party, LP, in the state, Prince Tonye Princewill, has stepped down for the 2019 governorship candidate of the APC, Mr Tonye Cole.
Princewill’s decision followed a consensus arrangement among key stakeholders of the party in the state who settled for Cole.
Confirming the development to Vanguard, Princewill, a close ally of Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, said he was looking forward to leading the APC into battle with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2023.
“So, to say I am happy today, would not be an accurate reflection of how I feel,” he told our correspondent.
According to him, the decision is still fresh and feelings are still raw as many are still in shock.
He said: “Some are still sad. However, I subscribed to a team and I signed up for a political process, so that makes it my responsibility to live up to the rules of the game. That makes it my responsibility to support Tonye Cole. And so I will.
“The decision has now been made for him to fly the flag. It was not made by the Minister (Amaechi). It was made by the leaders of the party. The 10 aspirants plus two new names that had also indicated interest were politely asked to excuse themselves, while all the 13 leaders present, minus the minister, then sat and deliberated.
“We were called back along with the minister a few hours later, to be given their decision. While we didn’t go into the details of the parameters for their decision, we respect their judgement 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.
“To all those who supported me, I want you to think of what I represent and that we need change here in Rivers state. We began this consultation because we wanted to hear your voices. That listening ear will never change. It remains to be seen what God has in store for us.”
The leader graciously asked me to join him in Abuja, so my attention will shift there, but my heart remains here in Rivers state. In the coming days, I will introduce my team to Tonye Cole personally and show him how important you are to me. He and I share a lot in common and he too is committed to lifting people. Let us help him to help us.
“Let God’s will take preeminence in our lives and may His light continue to shine on His people”, he stated.