Thursday’s All Progressives Congress primaries in Rivers State revealed a major crack in the party as a friend and ally of the governor, Senator Magnus Abe, stayed away from the party’s governorship primaries.
The event, which took place at the Civic centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, saw thousands of APC delegates drawn from the 100 wards in the state to officially unveil Mr Dakuku Peterside as the APC’s candidate for next year’s governorship election.
Abe was a frontline aspirant under the banner of the party and was rumoured to have been promised the party’s candidacy by his friend, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, before the tables suddenly turned against him.
However, Amaechi, while speaking during the event, noted that Abe was eminently qualified to rule the state, but added that the position was only available for one individual.
“Senator Magnus Abe is eminently qualified to be our governor. He is a very intelligent man, there are two Nigerians I respect for their intelligence, Senator Magnus Abe and Odein Ajumogobia. I told Magnus that he is eminently qualified to be governor in the same manner I told them that my Deputy, Engr Tele Ikuru is eminently qualified,” Amaechi said.
“The caucus decided we should present Hon Dakuku Peterside. It does not mean that he is more qualified than others. But somebody has to carry our flag,” he added.
Chairman of the governorship election panel for the state, Prince Austin Eweka lauded the party in the state for making the job of his panel a very easy one with the earlier adoption of Peterside as its consensus governorship candidate.
“The All Progressives Congress in the state has made our job very easy. What you have done in the state is a new dimension in our political history. It has brought peace, and harmony among party members. In some states there are about thirteen aspirants for the governorship primaries. Those of us from Abuja are so happy that the governor has taken the party to another level,” Eweka said.
The APC caucus had last week Wednesday adopted Peterside as the consensus guber candidate for next year’s governorship election.
According to the chairman, 3,914 delegates voted for Dakuku, but the valid votes were 3773 while 140 votes were voided.