Reports emerged late last week that the former Governor had chosen Cole, a businessman, for the position ahead of the election.
In reaction, Amaechi, in a statement on Saturday, noted while he has a right to support any aspirant, he had no powers to unilaterally impose it on the party.
Recall that a chieftain of the party in the state and former governorship aspirant, Tonye Princewill confirmed that Cole has been chosen to file out against Governor Nyesome Wike, but maintained that the choice was not Amaechi’s alone but the whole of the party’s leadership in the state.
But addressing the matter in a statement forwarded to DAILY POST by the Rivers APC Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, the party said, “The attention of the Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has been drawn to a strange and erroneous impression being promoted in the media based on ignorance and/or mischief that the leader of APC in Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has ‘appointed’ Arc. Tonye Dele Cole as the governorship candidate for the party for the 2019 elections.
“This is grossly preposterous and far from the truth as there is no provision for the appointing of a governorship candidate or indeed any candidate whatsoever in the constitution of the APC or in the guideline for the conduct of primaries of the APC.
“We wish to reiterate that APC in Rivers State is committed strictly to adhering to the process for conduct of primaries for the 2019 elections in line with the Constitution of the Party and Guidelines as proposed, ratified and published by the national leadership of the Party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby stated for the benefit of the media, our members and the general public that a governorship candidate for our party in Rivers State will only emerge during the governorship primary to be held later this month.
“We urge all stakeholders to disregard the misconception being created and promoted in the media. Our party leader, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has not and will not arrogate to himself the extra constitutional powers to appoint a candidate for the party for any position whatsoever and howsoever as being wrongly peddled.
“He only has the God-given right to express his preference just like each and every one of us have the inalienable right to privately and publicly express our preference on any issues.”