Despite his boast to be on the ballot in the race for next Rivers state governor, Sen Magnus Abe failed to make the list as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published details of 16 political parties’ flag bearers and running mates qualified to contest the 2023 election to determine the next Rivers governor.
The cast displayed at the Rivers office of INEC features African Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate Ibraye Tonte and Action Alliance (AA) Somiari Victor as youngest Rivers gubernatorial candidates at 37 with eccentric Nollywood figure, Tonto Dike complementing as running mate to Tonte at same age.
Ruling Peoples Democratic Party features newly retired Rivers Accountant General as flag bearer and 2019 disqualified All Progressives Congress (APC)
Candidate and billionaire investor, Tonye Cole now on the ballot on same platform.
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) will contest the Rivers 2023 governorship elections with
Fingesi Tamie as guber candidate and Ekiye Belief playing running mates, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has Cookey Sophia, 58 as flag bearer, with Douglas Okpara as Running mates.
African Action Congress (AAC) has Dada Obele Joseph Ngechu as flag bearer, Pronen Maurice listed as candidate of of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) platform where Abe had been speculated to emerge.
Other candidates include Dumo Lulu-Briggs for Accord Party,
Accord, Faye-Ofori Churchill of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Nwanze Michael (Boot Party), Ex-Militant Leader, Sobomabo Jackrich (National Rescue Movement) and Action Peoples Party (APP) Gborogbosi Gabriel.
On the unpredictability of where the pendulum will speak, Enefaa Georgewill, Chairman, Civil Society Organisations, Rivers state, said, “We are happy at the turn of events. We have always wanted an end to the 1999 Rivers political class. The list we have seen signifies that end with majority fresh faces.
“Added to the new electoral law adjustments, what that means is that candidates can no longer hide behind the strength parties and godfathers. They must come out to speak to the people. Convince the electorate on genuine plans to revamp the economy, encourage productive agriculture, education, vocational skills and all that. We don’t know where it will go yet.”
Former National Publicity Secretary, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and National Coordinator, South South Elders Forum, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe said, “It’s still a tentative list. Let’s wait for the final list before we can talk on where the pendulum swings. New names are likely to come in.”