From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Former lawmaker representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, has advised politicians to fear God, stressing that violence is not the solution to the lingering crisis rocking All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Senator Abe’s remarks were on the heels of a reported attack on one of his supporters in Eleme on Saturday, maintaining that nobody would push him away from the party.
He spoke at the inauguration of the Eleme Chapter of Rivers Voice of Freedom (RVF) held at the Eleme Civil Centre, yesterday.
Abe stated: “I am a proud member of the All Progressives Congress. I am one of the founders and leaders of the party. Nobody can wish that away and nobody can take that away. If you have contributed, you have contributed. And all of here have contributed. Without us, there can be no APC in the state.
“That said, you are away of the current activities going on in the party. You are aware we have been excluded by those powers that be in the state; deliberately to push all of us out of the party for no other reason than associating with Senator Magnus Abe. And I am happy that you continue to associate with me. I will also continue to associate with you.
“The second thing I would say is, we should all fear God. Yesterday (Saturday), when they heard that I would come for the inauguration of Eleme Chapter of Rivers Voice of Freedom, the minister’s people came here and attacked the man (his supporter).
“They poured petrol on the young man, a lawyer, who was here to set up a banner (for the inauguration). They poured petrol and set fire on the banner. And they were ready to unleash mayhem on this place because they do not want Senator Abe to be here and they do not want to see Senator Abe.
“I am a citizen of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria is a democracy, and we have rights and freedom of association in this country and we are exercising our rights. This is not a parallel congress of any party. Even in places where they held parallel congresses, nobody was set on fire.
“In Rivers State, we are blessed. The national leadership of the party has been to this state more than three times. They have heard us, they issued a statement that they would come here to do revalidation and registration which was not properly done. They issued a statement that they would address the challenges of APC in Rivers State. They have given that commitment. And we are prepared to abide by that commitment and wait for what the national will say.”
Senator Abe said they (his supporters) had never sponsored attack or bought arms for anyone, advising politicians that they should not be intoxicated of power.
He declared: “We have not sponsored any attack on anybody. We have not bought guns for anybody to go and fight anybody. We have not abused anybody. We have not done anything to take away any other person’s right.
“Therefore, nobody should try to kill you or try to kill us, or try to set people on fire, or try to deny us our rights to freely associate and do what politicians do, which is talk to the people. And we will talk to the people.
“Everybody should fear God. I am saying this to the newly inaugurated Exco of RVF in Eleme and I am saying this to all of us in this country. Let us fear God. Power is only temporary. And no matter how sweet power is, it will either leave you, or you leave power. It is not forever.”