Magnus Ngei Abe, a former senator and leader of a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has called on the people to fully participate in the proposed April 2021 local government elections in the state.
Abe, made the call on Thursday at a meeting of stakeholders of his faction of the APC in Port Harcourt against the background of speculations that the mainstream APC would not participate in the elections after complaining that the elections would not be free and fair.
But Abe said that participating in the election is the right of the people to democratically elect their representatives at the grassroots.
The senator said Wike had severally advocated for free and fair elections and it therefore behoves him to justify his mantra by giving the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RESIEC, a free hand to conduct free and credible polls.
He said political parties were mere vehicles that candidates use to contest elections so it left members the freedom to aspire and be elected to serve their people through elections.
“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?” he asked.
The senator said, “We are challenging the governor of Rivers State to organize the election in the way he said he wanted elections to be organized 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.
“We are challenging the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) to make the election free and fair, let Rivers people go out and contest.”
Abe said he would encourage politicians to aspire to office and test their strength. “Even though you don’t win, at the end of the day you learn valuable lessons on how to plan, organize, and grow in your political career,” he said.
He promised to continue to pursue justice in the APC so as to promote a better model of politics in Nigeria.