Prince Tonye Princewill, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Director of Strategic Communications for the Tonye Cole Campaign, says elections won’t be conducted in Rivers State if APC candidates do not participate.
He therefore told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to"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".
He stated this at a press briefing in Rivers State on Thursday.
Although a Court of Appeal had ruled a stay of execution on an earlier order by a Federal High Court to bar APC candidates in Rivers State from contesting elections, on Wednesday, INEC said its position on the matter had not changed.
According to Princewill, conducting elections in Rivers State without the APC and its candidates would be “an exercise in futility”.
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.
“We knew 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. Money leaves a trace, and in this government, corruption will always come with consequences.”
He went on to describe the 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 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,” he added.
On the schedule of campaigns, he 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 because “their campaigns were gaining momentum before legal gymnastics stepped in”.
He continued: “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 N2,000 to willing takers.
“His mate (even though we are yet to ascertain Nyesom Wike’s actual age) and 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 discovery of spirituality.
“Tonye Cole and others must be allowed to finish their campaigns. Anything short of that cannot 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.”