billionaire Architect, Tonye Cole, on Friday night emerged as the consensus candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship in Rivers state.
The choice of Cole came as a rude shock to many who earlier expected either Prince Tonye Princewill or the 2015 gubernatorial candidate, Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside.
Cole is a close ally of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi who in 2019 brought the businessman to fly the party’s flag.
Ten governorship aspirants from the riverine extraction, including Tonye Princewill and Dr. Dakuku Peterside had signed a pact to support whoever emerges amongst them.
Cole was the party’s candidate in the state in 2019, though the APC was excluded from the ballot by INEC following a court order after a series of litigations by opposing camps of both Senator Magnus Abe and Rotimi Amaechi.
Confirming the party’s choice in a statement on Saturday morning, a chieftain of the party and one of the aspirants, Tonye Princewill, said Cole was picked not by Amaechi but the party’s leadership.
The statement read, “The decision has just been made for Tonye Cole to fly the flag. It was not made by the Minister.
“It was made by the leaders of the party. The 10 aspirants plus two new names that had also indicated interest were asked to excuse themselves, while all of the leaders minus the Minister then sat and deliberated.