Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The senator representing Rivers South-east senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has said he would never shun the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, whenever they meet at a public function.Abe, who was reacting to criticisms about his recent picture with Wike, said as a senator, he cannot see the governor of his state and shun him.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by his spokesperson, Parry Benson, Abe noted that Wike is governor of all people and residents of Rivers State and that it was only logical that the office and person of the governor be accorded the respect he deserves.
His words: â€œAs to my picture with Governor Nyesom Wike, I donâ€™t want to go into my personal history with Wike; that is a story for another day. The reality of today is that Governor Wike is the governor of my state. I have always called on the governor to be a governor to all Rivers people without regard to party, tribe or creed and that includes me.
â€œI cannot say that and fail to acknowledge the governor when I meet him in a public function. What example will I be showing the young ones if as senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I see the governor of my own state in a public function and shun or ignore him because of our differences in party affiliation?
â€œI am irrevocably determined and committed to the avowed objective of our party the All Progressives Congress (APC) to recover Rivers state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and align our people properly with the centre. We should do that in a manner that respects our core values as a people and enriches our dignity as human beings.â€
He added: â€œBy the special grace of God, I wonâ€™t cease from doing what I believe to be right. Whenever I can do so, I will always treat people I know with respect and decorum in public. That is my way of letting the world know that I am the son of late Rev Canon A. L. Abe.â€
Abe also said he was surprised seeing sponsored young people writing unprintable things about him because of his presence at a reception held in honour of his friend and senator representing Rivers West District in the National Assembly, Senator ThankGod Ideozu.
The senator said: â€œI was surprised to see young people being sponsored to write unprintable things about me on social media because of my presence at the reception held in honour of my friend and colleague Senator ThankGod Ideozu.â€
â€œI have said severally that my friends and supporters should learn from me what I learnt from my late father â€œinherit and share my friends but make your own enemies.â€
â€œThese young politicians are being brought up on a diet of hate towards people about whom they know little or nothing. They are also being taught never to forgive. An unforgiving spirit is dangerous to a happy life. If you know I have done you no harm, please tone it down.â€
He maintained that he had had a long-standing relationship with Ideozu which party differences would not break.
â€œSenator Ideozu was Minority Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and one of the members who actively worked to make me the Minority Leader of the House. He was my colleague in the Rivers State Executive Council as Commissioner for Finance while I was Secretary to the Government, and today we are colleagues in the Senate. Why wonâ€™t I be at his reception if I am invited?â€ Abe, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, said.