From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The former Minister of Transportation and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, Chibuike Amaechi, has advised the party’s governorship candidate, other 2023 election candidates and leaders of the party in Rivers State, to pay more attention to winning and seek ways to make the State better, rather than indulge in malice.
Amaechi gave the advice at the inauguration of the Tonye Cole/Innocent Barikor governorship campaign council and manifesto launch in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
Amaechi, who particularly advised Cole not to inherit his political enemies, encouraged the party members to be steadfast in spite of the challenges and work for the victory of the party at the 2023 polls.
He said: “How many of you have seen me succeed politically without travails? In 2006, didn’t they leave? They left, but God said to me ‘you must forgive.’ So, I said to God, if you make me the governor, I will forgive. And I forgave people. One thing you (referring to Cole) must do now is to listen to God. The next thing you must do is work because faith without work is dead.
“My advice to Tonye Cole is that he should not look back. (If he becomes governor), he doesn’t need to punish anybody, he should focus on how to govern Rivers State, because the state is at its worst. He should not bother about me and those who say they are my political enemies, because it’s not his business. He should not inherit any grudge, he should rather look at how to change Rivers State and make Rivers State progress.
“I came to tell you that the struggle is not new. We have passed through this before. We passed through it when I was to be governor. We passed through it when Buhari was going for president. But, if we work together, we will win by God’s grace.”
Amaechi further noted that the poll by Atedo Peterside’s ANAP Foundation showed that APC could win the governorship in Rivers State, and urged party members that the time was ripe to come home and strategise and go all out to win.
He stated: “I don’t know if I agree with Atedo Peterside’s (ANAP Foundation) poll. But, if you saw his poll, you’ll know that we will win. We have not gone out to campaign, we have done nothing, and PDP is leading us narrowly. We have not campaigned since 2019, but they have been campaigning. They have a sitting governor, they’ve been spending money, and the lead is still narrow. What happens if we go out and campaign? We will beat them.
“The poll says 37 per cent of Rivers people are undecided. What it means is that 37 per cent of them are waiting for you, because if they wanted to vote for PDP, they would have gone there since. They are waiting for you to come to them, talk to them and convince them, and they will join you because there’s nothing new the PDP will offer them.
“We need to come back home and strategies on the way to go, and we will win.”
Meanwhile, Cole has said (if elected) his government would improve our human capital development, spread development across the entire 23 LGAs and make the youths, women and traditional rulers integral parts of his administration.