Tinubu’s Rivers visit: Why I was absent – Tonye Cole

 


The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 gubernatorial election in Rivers, Tonye Cole, has reacted to President-elect Bola Tinubu’s visit to Rivers State in which his party was ignored.

 

Cole said Governor Wike should have informed APC in Rivers State that he was inviting Tinubu and would want them to be part of the programme.

 

He disclosed this on Thursday while fielding questions on Arise Television’s Morning Show program.

 

Recall that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday visited Rivers State at the invitation of Governor Nyesom Wike.

 

While in Port Harcourt, Tinubu commissioned the Rumuokwuta/Rumuola flyover in Port Harcourt while describing Wike as a man of integrity who abandoned his interest for the nation’s interest.

 

Wike also declared a public holiday for people to celebrate Tinubu over a two-day visit to the state.

 

But the APC in Rivers dissociated itself from the visit of Tinubu to the state.

 

The APC Publicity Secretary in the State, Darlington Nwauju, said the party has nothing to do with Tinubu’s visit.

 

Nwauju told Wike “to play less divisive politics and exercise restraint in planting seeds of discord amongst opposition political parties”.

 

Cole claimed he was absent during Tinubu’s visit because he was not invited.

 

He said, ”I will describe the visit from two sides. First side of it is the President-elect. As a President-elect of Nigeria, he has the right to go anywhere. And the Rivers State Government invited him, and he has come, honoured that invitation, and has come to Rivers State as a President-elect; with that, we have no problem at all.

 

”Where the issue is is that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, ought also to be the governor of all Rivers people. And one of the things that he should have done if he is inviting the President-elect, who is the President-elect of all Nigerians, would have been to call us as APC in Rivers State to inform us that he is inviting the President-elect and would want us to be part of that programme.

 

”We never got any invitation, I was never invited personally, I was not invited in my private capacity as a candidate of the party, neither was our party, APC, in the State invited to any of those things, and I believe that is where the difference between the President-elect acting in his capacity as President-elect for all Nigerians and Governor Wike acting in his capacity as a governor of just a particular Rivers people. That is where our disagreement stands.”

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