Former representative of Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has called on Rivers State people to come out en masse to participate in the forthcoming local government council election in order to be involved in a democratic process to elect who represents them at the grassroots.
Abe made the call while speaking at a meeting of stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Port Harcourt.
The senator recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had several times advocated for free and fair elections devoid of federal might and force to influence election outcome.
He said it therefore it behoves on Wike to justify his mantra by giving the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission a free hand to conduct free and credible LG poll.
He objected to some dissenting voices in the APC that wanted members to boycott the election, insisting that political parties are formed as a vehicle, whereby members could aspire and be elected to serve their people and condemned such insinuation as counterproductive.
Abe said: “The fact that we have different political parties does not mean that we are suddenly no longer Rivers people.
“It is not correct.
“And that is not how to grow the state.
“If we don’t come out to participate, how do we tell the world that the election was free or fair?
“How do we say what was wrong with an election we refused to take part?
“How do we make elections better in Rivers State if we don’t come out and participate?
“The requirement to contest in an election is that you should be a member of a political party and we are members of the All Progressives Congress and therefore eminently qualified to contest in the elections in Rivers State.
“It is our State.
“The purpose of election is to serve the people.
“If they pick our people, they should be allowed to serve.
“We are challenging the governor of Rivers State to organise the election in the way he said he wanted elections to be organised and let Rivers people go out and contest.
“Test their popularity for the people to decide on those they want to run the affairs at the grassroots.
“That’s the purpose of politics.
“Wike has always talked about how he wants free and fair election without federal might and force.
“This is the time to show it working.
“We are challenging the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission to make the election free and fair.
“Let Rivers people go out and contest.
“I want to encourage any politician who wants to aspire to an office: this is the time for you to test your teeth.
“Even though you don’t win, at the end of the day you learn valuable lessons on how to plan, organise and grow in your political career.”
Abe, however, vowed to continue in the pursuit of justice in the APC in order to promote a better model of politics in Nigeria.