THE All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Rivers, Tonye Cole, revealed yesterday that the state chapter of the party was shocked to learn that President Bola Tinubu had appointed former Governor Nyesom Wike and some members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to his cabinet.
While lamenting that their loyal supporters should not be left out in the cold, Cole assured the Dr Abdullahi Ganduje-led National Working Committee that they are ready for reconciliation if the President compensated some of their’sons and daughters’ with significant positions in his administration.
Yesterday, the co-founder of Sahara Group led a delegation of Rivers APC chieftains on a courtesy visit to Ganduje at the ruling party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
After the meeting, Cole told reporters that the state chapter of the party had lost a large number of members and properties due to political violence following the general elections, and that they are willing to work with the new APC leadership to achieve peace.
He said, “We can only urge the President and leader of our great party to do more for God’s glory and the APC’s good. This includes appointing our sons and daughters to key positions and other forms of empowerment of our members to cater for our faithful supporters who despite the human and material losses they have encountered remain longstanding in faith with the APC.
“The scale of violence and all sorts of ambushes we suffered were scary, but they didn’t stop us. Not only were our gubernatorial flag bearer and other candidates not allowed to get materials from INEC to file their petitions at the Tribunals after the elections on February 25 and March 18, 2023, our party also withdrew as a petitioner soon after we completed the filing process.
That has never happened in the history of Nigeria’s major political parties. The party that sponsored our candidates pulled the rug beneath their feet when the party was needed the most.
“If the event described above shocked us a little, what happened next was card-carrying PDP members of Rivers State got appointments in our APC Federal Government left us completely confused and very upset. Those being rewarded are PDP members who spent huge State resources trying to destroy APC in Rivers State since 2013 and failed, primarily because these loyal APC members here resisted them fiercely.
“Your Excellency would be shocked that as we address you in this meeting, the Rivers State Chapter of the APC has no representation at any level of governance in our country. There isn’t a single Rivers APC member appointed at any level of the Federal, State or Local Government.”
While receiving the team, Ganduje told them that the ruling party would look into their proposal and forward it to the president for immediate consideration.
According to the APC national chairman, compensation in politics is a critical component that cannot be overlooked, particularly during the reconciliation process.
“I believe we have taken the right way to rebuild APC in Rivers State; the party that we know its history. So, we assure you the founding members of APC in the state. We know how much you suffer. We cannot allow your suffering to wither away like that. We will do our best to protect you. Compensation in politics is very important. We are taking this up for consideration. And I assure you. We have your leadership. The gubernatorial candidate is here. The party chairman and other caliber of members are also here.
“But I think with this your determination to rebuild the party, we urged to create an even environment to keep your doors open so that those who left the party, no matter how big they are in another party where they went for sabbatical leave, can come back to their original base,” he noted.