Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, has declared that perceived challenges that may crop up in furtherance of his willingness to contest the 2019 governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not make him defect from the party as being rumored by some persons.
Speaking when he paid a thank you visit to Gokana Local Government Area, as part of his efforts to commend the people of Rivers South East Senatorial District for returning him in the re-run election held on Dec. 10, Abe said he is the biggest investment in the politics of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in Nigeria and there is nothing that will make him to leave the party.
Senator Abe, is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), who used the opportunity to address some issues plaguing the party said, one gets to a point in life when what happens to him no longer becomes an issue but at that point, it is what happens around him that becomes more important.
“We are trying to make the party better by supporting our leader, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, so that the party can move forward and will not relent in our efforts and by the grace of the Almighty God that we serve, the right thing will be done.
“Let me use the opportunity of this visit to address some issues in our great party, the APC in Rivers State and to say clearly for the record that there are no members of the party, including myself, that is disputing the leadership of my friend, the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. We are not disputing with him who is the leader of the party. He is the leader and will continue to be the leader of our party in Rivers State.”
Speaking further Senator Abe said, some people are saying that his ambition to become governor of Rivers State in 2019 is the problem in the party. While others are claiming that they have asked him (Abe) to wait and build the party but he has refused to wait. Therefore, he is the one scattering the party because of his desire to be governor.
“I stand in front of my people, here, today, and declare that I don’t tell lies. I am not a liar. The story that I am scattering the party in the state because of my governorship ambition is not true. The problem is simple. We have heard some people saying all elected members of the party got their tickets because Amaechi endorsed them, therefore, everyone who has an ambition should wait until he endorses him or her.”
“The arguments some people are putting forward are that any person who would not wait for the leader, (Amaechi), to endorse him or select him, or her, to anoint him, or her, or who is saying something different is a bad person; or, a bad member of the party; the person should be removed, or suspended from the party; or the person should leave the party on his own volition. Some of us who feel that stopping some persons from aspiring to become what they want to become is an infringement on their fundamental human rights are saying no.
“Yes. We agree that it was the leader who gave us tickets and that the leader has always pointed to people and such persons have gone to contest elections; but we also know that politics is dynamic; and that our APC offers change. How do we convince the people of Rivers State that we, too, can change?”
“And some people said no! It is not that the leader will not have a say; it is not that the leader will not have a say in the selection of candidates vying for election under the auspices of the party; but some people felt the party should allow interested members and aspirants to make their inputs. And some members turned that position to be a move against the leader of the party. And that anyone who says anything contrary to anything said by the leader of the party is anti-party or worse still, fighting Rotimi Amaechi. For me, I think that position is wrong. It is undemocratic and totally against the change mantra of the APC.
“I am the biggest investment in the politics of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in Nigeria,” he stressed.
On the resolve of the people of Ogoni to produce the governor of Rivers State in 2019, having been denied the opportunity in the past 50 years that the state was created, Senator Abe insisted that it was time for the Ogonis to produce the next governor of the state.
“Today, I don’t have to apologise for being an Ogoni son. I love my country, Nigeria. I am a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I love my country. I support my country, but if I was not from here, Ogoni, I will not be a Nigerian. It has been 50 years since Rivers State was created and nobody of Ogoni extraction has been governor, deputy governor or Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. And some are saying that it doesn’t matter. I stand here; today, to tell Rivers people that it, indeed, matters and we have no apologies to offer to anybody.”
“I hear that the PDP caucus in Ogoni has endorsed Governor Nyesom Wike. That is their opinion. I also hear that the APC caucus has said that they have an opinion on the governor’s position, too. But the people of Ogoni also have their opinion and that opinion is that there must be justice in Rivers State.”
“So, today, I want to use this opportunity to thank everybody. I don’t have problem with anybody. And anybody who knows me knows that I have reached a level, and even before I got to this level I could look anyone in the eyes and tell them the truth. At this stage of my life, I do not have to lie to anyone, or my people to achieve anything. Truth must remain the standard by which our actions are judged.”
Senator Abe said: “When we got to Gokana there was heavy rain. And our mothers, fathers, and the youths were dancing under the rain and I said no, I need to join my people; they can’t be in the rain while I remain inside the car. So, I joined them and walked with them until we got home. One thing is clear: the rain has a message for us and if you listen very well, you will hear the message. If you listen to the sun, you will also hear the message; if you turn to the sea, the message is the same; even the wind is saying the same thing. And nobody, absolutely nobody, can intimidate a people when it is their time. And the time is now.”
The former Secretary to Rivers State Government had earlier thanked the people of Gokana for the role they played in his return to the Senate of the federal republic of Nigeria saying it is time to allow the people of the Senatorial District to focus on the democratic process so that they can collectively enjoy the dividends of democracy.
He, however, acknowledged that his opponent has a right of appeal in the matter, and no one can stop a person from exercising his right, else the person perceives you to be unfair and maintained that the right of appeal is a democratic process and if they choose to appeal they should not be vilified.
“On our own, we like to plead which may sound selfish because if we tell anybody not to appeal, we will benefit. But, we will like to appeal that it is time to let this thing lie; but if they want to appeal, we should not think that they have done anything wrong. They are merely exercising their right in a democracy and we should respect that right.
“So, I want to say that everybody that was under the rain today should see it as showers of blessing. The sun is also sending the same message. If the storm comes, it is the same message. Whatever it is, and whatever it is not, our message is simple: “forward ever, backward never!”