Tonye Cole, the Rivers governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has vowed to pursue justice in the state’s governorship election not minding the understanding between President-elect Bola Tinubu and Governor Nyesom Wike.
Mr Cole explained that the agreement between the two party leaders was essentially to ensure that APC was delivered in the presidential election in Rivers. And APC should allow Mr Wike to do whatever he needs to do at the state level to have his governorship candidate elected.
Mr Cole said this on Wednesday when he appeared on Arise TV on the Morning Show programme.
“The deal with Wike and the president-elect is an open secret,” Mr Cole said.
“That deal was essentially that the presidency should be delivered to the APC. And APC should allow Wike to do whatever he is going to do to get his governorship candidate through.
INEC declared Siminalayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the last governorship election in Rivers.
Mr Fubara, an “anointed” candidate of Mr Wike, polled 302,614 votes to defeat Mr Cole who scored 95,274 votes.
The APC chieftain has since rejected the election results and urged the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to cancel the election stating that the election was marred with violence and the result did not reflect the choices and will of the people of the state.
Mr Cole stated that, while he maintains a good relationship with the president-elect, which he describes as “beyond cordial,” he is not interested in the agreement between Mr Tinubu and Mr Wike.
Speaking further he noted that he is willing to engage with other political parties in Rivers State that simply want the truth, as well as those in the opposition SDP, and the aggrieved members in the PDP “and everyone who understands that Rivers State must be removed from the mess that has been created.
“And assuming that deal went through. The main aspect of it is that the politics in Rivers state was not going to allow that deal to work as easily as governor wike assumed.
“And so what he (Wike) had to do was to deploy intimidation and violence bribery and threats and all sorts of things just to ensure that the election was stolen.
“Having done that, my president-elect cannot stand by and endorse all of those things and just say this is allowed to go.
“He would not be able to do that, because of the facts on the ground… and these things were the only way that PDP won the elections in the state by deploying undemocratic means and that is what we are standing on.
“For us, we are not interested in what kind…. politics is about deal-making. And we are not interested in whether a deal was made or what kind of deal was made.
“What we are interested in is, what happened on Election Day.
Mr Cole said he has the full support of his party at the national level to challenge the outcome of the result at the tribunal.
“Where do we stand on this; is the judiciary able to stand that where injustice was done they are going to correct it? And it’s possible. Everybody keeps telling me that the judiciary is so corrupt and we are not going to get justice. And I chose to defer.
“And I must say APC national is in support of what we are doing because we are a party.