BusinessDay

Eye on Rivers seat of power: Magnus Abe moves into the streets to offstage godfathers in PDP, APC

· Begins with mechanics, says real power belongs to the grassroots people

Magnus Abe, former senator and one of the strongest political forces in the Niger Delta, has moved to the streets to seek power in his quest for the seat of power in Rivers State.

Abe, a factional leader in the All Progressives Congress (APC), who pulled out of the party’s guber primaries last week in Port Harcourt, and who announced to his followers to wait for him on the guber ballot at last in 2023, began his consultations with mechanics body in the Garden City Friday, June 3, 2022.

The highly intelligent leader who is yet to disclose his new party promised those ready to invest in his quest a lie of inclusion like never before.

An eyewitness at the meeting with the Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) at Elekahia area, Parry Saoh Beson, in a statement, said the former representative of Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly made it clear that the investment of time and support by the grassroots people into ‘SMA 4 Rivers Governor 2023’ will be rewarded.

Abe had told newsmen that only the people of Rivers State were qualified to choose their next governor, not any person called party leader.

Benson, Abe’s long term spokesman, stated that Abe was was reacting to the endorsement of APC’s Tonye Cole by the 19 cardinals and the hand-picking of Sim Fubara by Gov Nyesom Wike for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket, each not looking his way.

Giving assurances to NATA members in Port Harcourt, Abe said although he has no godfather but that he trusts in God and the people because it is the people that have the power to install the government.

Falling back on pidgin, Abe said this time around, “I have come to stand before you to plead with you to give me a chance and let us do something differently. He said he had no godfather and that the masses have become his godfather. Abe had looked up to Amaechi as his godfather for years until 2015 when Amaechi chose Dakuku Peterside for the APC ticket instead of him.

Abe said if he gets into government, he would attribute it to the people on the street. “All these other persons have got godfathers who are fixing things for them, but I regard you people as my own godfathers”.

The former senator reminded the commoners that when they install a government, they shut the door after them and turn round to forget the masses. “They don’t sit down to remember those of you who voted them into government. This time around, things are not going to be the same.

“That is why I have told Rivers people that for you to see something you have not seen before, you must be prepared to do the things you have not done before.”

Abe urged the mechanics and other masses to try a new way so as to expect a different result, saying investing in his ticket would produce bounteous results for them.

Abe said the interactive session is aimed at giving the people the opportunity to make their contributions into the in-coming government as the government will be built around the people.

Read also: 2023: EFCC warns politicians against vote-buying

Mechanics and other auto-parts dealers in the Garden City have lived with tears and regrets for years after high hopes of being moved to their own permanent location in Iriebe area of the state capital. The area was allocated by the Amaechi administration and the foundation stone was laid by Gov Wike in his first term, only for the hope to fall flat as the project failed to take off. Now, Abe is offering a third chance.

Moses Anuba, state chairman of NATA, expressed profound joy to have a man of Abe’s stature come into Elekahia Mechanic Workshop area to meet with them. He promised their unflinching support to the senator’s ambition.

No individual can decide

Abe has studied the field and resolved that power can only come from the masses. He thus moved away from seeking endorsement to wooing the masses right in their localities.

While withdrawing from the APC primaries, Abe reassured Rivers people that he would contest in the forthcoming governorship election in 2023. He urged them to ignore rumours that he has withdrawn from the race.

Abe made the declaration while addressing journalists at Freedom House, Headquarters of his campaign organization in Port Harcourt, the State Capital.

The governorship hopeful said: “I have received a lot of massages saying that I have withdrawn from the governorship race of the APC. That is not true. I have not withdrawn and I will not withdraw.

“What is being set up today is a charade. Everybody knows that in a delegate election, if you are not included in how the delegates are chosen, if the process of choosing the delegates is not inclusive, is not transparent and is not fair.

“The outcome of what the delegates will do cannot be any difference from the process that produces them.

“Like I stated at the beginning of this whole thing when I declared, I said, I will not accept the outcome of any process that is not just, fair, equitable and that is not inclusive.

“The indirect primaries being conducted today by the former Minister of Transportation and his cronies in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, clearly does not meet that standard.

“And for that reason, I decided not to participate, not to withdraw, out of respect for the party. I want to say clearly that I will not accept the outcome neither will I be bound by it.

“To Rivers people, let me say this clearly, there will be an election to elect a governor for the people of Rivers State in March next year as in other parts of this country. And it will be the responsibility of Rivers people to choose who that governor will be, that will superintend over the affairs and activities of all of us.

“What I will say to Rivers people is that, I, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, will be on that ballot and Rivers people will have the opportunity to choose who shall lead our dear state moving forward.

“No one individual, however powerful, however well connected, however wealthy will decide for all of us. You will have that opportunity to decide who our next governor will be and I, Magnus Abe will be on the ballot.”

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.