From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Factional All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Senator Magnus Abe in Rivers State, has declared its support for Senator Bola Tinubu, to contest for president of the country in 2023.
The faction said Nigeria is in dire need of a detribalised leader, and the former governor of Lagos State, whose administration provided opportunity for persons from other tribes to serve, is suitable the position.
Coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Support (BATS), Tony Okocha, while speaking at the inauguration of the group in Port Harcourt, at the weekend, said the group in Rivers, would mobilize 50,000 APC supporters to drive Tinubu’s presidential ambition in the 2023 election.
Okocha, who was a former Chief of Staff to Chibuike Amaechi as governor, noted that during his (Tinubu) reign as governor, appointments were given to non-indigenes into his cabinet contribute their quota to drive development in Lagos State.
He said: “We know he has a medal’s touch. We know he is competent, we know that he is experienced and we know that he is detribalized so if we have a nationalist like that why won’t we support him?”
He said the mission of BATS in the state is to mobilize 50 , 000 APC supporters for the actualization of Tinubu’s ambition.
Also speaking, a former Rivers Senator, Wilson Ake, has stated that the October, 2020, EndSARS crisis was instigated by those who would oppose to the former governor to emerge president in the next election.
Senator Ake, who is the Chairman of the group”s Steering Committee decried what he termed as “using and dumping syndrome” in the All Progressives Congress (APC), insisting that Tinubu should be given a chance to vie for the position for his contributions to the party.
He alleged that the attacks on the former governors businesses during the protest was meant to eliminate him from the race even before it started.
“For someone to work and another person will come and eat is not of God. We are supporting Tinubu because we know that he is eminently qualified, and he has worked so hard to see APC win. So, we do not have that wicked spirit in us that is why we are saying we must pay back Tinubu what he has put in APC.
“We are not against anybody who wants to try, anybody that wants to try should go ahead. But, they should not use the question that they must eliminate Tinubu to succeed. It is not of God.
“They went as far as starting EndSARS in Lagos State; the EndSARS ended up by burning Tinubu’s hotel, his television house, his newspaper house when Tinubu is not in government.
“You can see that the target is how do we decimate this man; after you have worked so hard, then, people will say you should go to the back and sit and the good man and the good woman will clap for such a thing.”
Ake condemned some Nigerians’ tongue-lashing and much concern about his (Tinubu) age, stressing that the position he wishes to run for requires maturity, experience and hardworking, and not for youths.
Ake said: “Looking at all the state governors, they are within the age bracket of 30 and 50. Is there any magic coming from them? Instead of them to look out for quality, they are emphasising on age. That shows we are not serious in this country.
“Anybody using the question of age to attack, disqualify Tinubu is merely playing the Ostrich and we cannot allow that to distract us.”