In a surprise twist, the Tonye Cole faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday announced that it has adopted Biokpomabo Awara contesting under the platform of African Action Congress, AAC, as its preferred candidate for the Saturday’s Rivers gubernatorial election
Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the leader of the APC faction made the announcement at Elele in Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State.
He said that APC had to adopt Biokpomabo Awara, a Kalabari from oil rich Kula in Akuku-Toru local government area of state because APC is not on the ballot for the gubernatorial election.
The strategy the APC will use to help its preferred candidate to defeat incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is not known.
The adoption of a candidate who is relatively unknown has also taken pundits of Rivers politics by surprise.
What may perhaps not be surprising is the fact that the choice of Biokpomabo Awara tallies with the preferred zoning arrangements of Amaechi that the next governor of Rivers State should be come from the Riverine (Coastal) area part of Rivers State.
Amaechi had argued for the power shift based on the fact that all the governors of Rivers State since the inception of democracy in 1999 have been from the upland parts of the state.
Former Governor Dr Peter Odili is from Ndoni, in Ogbe-Egbema-Ndoni local area, Celestine Omehia, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi are from Ubima, Ikwerre local government while the incumbent governor, Nyesom Wike hails from Rumuepricom in Obio-Akpor local government area.
However, Peter Odike, Chairman of Senator Magnus Abe faction of APC has condemned the adoption of Biokpomabo Awara by the rival faction.
He warned that the party is still steadfastly pursuing the suit it filed to ensure that INEC recognizes Senator Magnus Abe as the Rivers APC governorship candidate.
He described the adoption of the AAC candidate as an anti-party activity by the APC faction.