Following the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) insistence to preclude candidates of All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Rivers state in the coming general elections despite court orders, a chieftain of the party, Tonye Princewill has urged the electoral body to rescind its decision.
On Monday, Justice Mohammed Mustapha of the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State ordered a stay of execution of Federal High Court’s ruling of Justice Kolawole Omotosho which had restrained the APC from fielding candidate in this month general elections.
But speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, Barrister Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee declared that the Commission was yet to reverse itself on its earlier stance that the APC would not be allowed to field candidates.
But speaking with newsmen in Abuja, the APC Director of Strategic Communications for the Tonye Cole Campaign, Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill said INEC was deluding itself to insist that APC would not partake in the national, State assembles and governorship elections despite two court orders.
He said: “Of course, we are not yet on the ballot, it’s a process. INEC by now has received the first order and in another day or so, will receive the second one. Then their lawyers will advise them and at a meeting of the powers that be, a decision will be taken. That decision will be to obey the law. We expect nothing less. If they don’t, then it will be lawful to be lawless in a lawless society. There will be no elections in Rivers state.”
Reacting to questions on the schedule of campaigns going forward and the paucity of time available, Prince Tonye noted that while being on the ballot was necessary, allowing the APC candidates time to go about their campaigns, as had been denied them was only fair.
“We knew Governor Wike had penetrated the judiciary, every day the signs are revealed. We know he has also penetrated some of our security agencies, but we do not want to believe he has penetrated our electoral body at the highest levels. We are soon about to find out. Let us be patient. These things take time. Our money, that he is using, will be traced to its last hiding place when he leaves office. We know a lot about who he is working with.”
The APC Director of Strategic Communications for Tonye Cole Campaign further argued for the extension of time for elective offices in Rivers State.
“PDP should be very ashamed that after four good years, their candidate could not go from ward to ward to tell them what he has done. Instead, he has stumbled from LGA to LGA headquarters with more people in his entourage than indigenes to receive him, only to drop sound bites and share two-two thousand Naira to willing takers.
“Our candidate Tonye Cole has gone from ward to ward in every LGA and had done 236 wards out of 319 before a judge, Magnus and Wike stopped him using the law. Magnus is not our focus. He is our lost brother whom we wish well. His room is there if he returns. Our focus is Wike and nothing will distract us from demystifying his perceived grassroots’ appeal, his supposed strong man status and his recent Mungo Park like the discovery of Spirituality.
“Tonye Cole and others must be allowed to finish their campaigns. Anything short of that can not be just and we will contest it. INEC should get ready for the Presidential elections, but State House of Assembly, National Assembly and the Governorship elections must be a separate exercise set aside for a special date.”
All eyes are now on INEC as the fate of Rivers state now hangs in their balance. Will Wike be given a free ride back into Government house or will the never say die attitude of Tonye Cole emerges from the ashes of court judgements? Very soon, all will be revealed.”
The former Labour Party governorship candidate further described the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) as an “accident waiting to happen” and advised all those with good conscience still sitting inside it, to jump for safety before the inevitable crash or hold themselves to blame. “Wike is a learner driver. He has no business driving the vehicle of Rivers State and everyone knows it. Even he knows it. He can use the money to win awards, ascribe bogus titles to himself, get biased media coverage, even delay justice, but he can’t use our money to bribe God. Judgement is coming for him and it is coming soon.”