The battle for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State is clearly between a billionaire businessman, Tonye Cole, and Magnus Abe, a senator representing Rivers South East District.
Mr Abe has, however, threatened to boycott the primaries, saying the APC was wrong to adopt indirect primaries in Rivers.
Mr Cole, a billionaire businessman, is the preferred aspirant of the APC leader in the state, Rotimi Amaechi, who is the minister of transportation. Because of Mr Amaechi’s grip on the party structure in the state, Mr Cole looks good to win the APC governorship primary in the state.
The riverine people in Rivers have been agitating to produce a governor of the state after several years. Being that Mr Cole is from the riverine area, he is likely to get massive support from there. Besides, his business background and billionaire status seem to be an added advantage.
Mr Cole, however, is likely going to encounter stiff opposition from people who are averse to Mr Amaechi’s control of the party, but it is difficult to see how much this could negatively affect his chances at the primary.
Mr Abe, currently serving as a senator, is believed to have solid political connections and enjoys massive following in the state. His greatest threat to picking the APC governorship ticket in the state is Mr Amaechi, whom he has long parted ways with.
Political analysts in the state believe that Mr Abe has the capacity to spring surprises and probably win the party ticket if the APC in the state were to use direct primary in choosing its governorship candidate.
The senator has already threatened to boycott the primary if the party fails to use direct primary.
The strength of Mr Briggs is that he is from the riverine area. He has been agitating that it is their turn to produce a governor of the state. He is said to enjoy some following in the state. However, most people in the state believe he does not stand a chance to win the primary.
Mr George, from the riverine area, is a close political ally of Dakuku Peterside. He is a former member of the House of Representatives. He once served as commissioner of petroleum and natural resources under the then administration of Rotimi Amaechi.
Most people in the state do not believe Mr George stands a chance to win the APC primary.