The senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe has advised ousted gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole to stop raining abuses on the judiciary and Nigerian judges over the unfortunate situation the party in the state finds itself.
Abe said he was surprised that rather than thank Rivers people who came out in their thousands to vote for President Buhari and condemn the needless violence that characterised the elections in some parts of the state, Cole came out to abuse the Nigerian judiciary and ascribe every vote received by the APC to his and that of the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
The Senator who spoke while addressing party supporters that came to celebrate the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23 election at his residence in Abuja, reminded Cole that it is a known fact that elections did not take place in his (Cole) Local Government Area (LGA) and that of the Minister of Transportation.
He said, “I and other leaders of the APC gathered our scarce private resources to mobilise party members in all th 23 LGAs of Rivers State, and APC members responded by coming out in their thousands to vote for Mr. President.
“No one should denigrate the contributions of others, this was not NDDC, NIMASA, NPA, railway or Presidential Campaign Council funds – this was money contributed by APC leaders out of love for Mr. President and his contributions to Rivers people.
“Cole and his co-travelers have no right to lay claim to every vote as that of their efforts and of Amaechi alone. He should acknowledge the contributions of other leaders. Whatever the motive of his press conference he should try to achieve it without running down the contributions of other leaders.
“The senator stated that it is a nationally known fact that more people, including the Mr. Dumo Lulu-Briggs defected from the minister’s faction of the APC. Name calling and trying to blackmail other leaders will not solve the challenges facing the party in Rivers State.
“Rather humility and genuine introspection that acknowledges that mistakes were made will help us to heal and move forward,” he stated.
Abe, however, advised Cole and Amaechi to look inwards for the real reason the party is in the quagmire it has found itself, “after all, the judges were in their courtrooms when the APC leadership took the decision to exclude members from party congresses, collect over N18 million from party members, deny them their constitutional rights as party members, publicly disobey the courts, physically attack the judiciary, and proceed in wanton and open display of contempt to use delegates that had been twice voided to elect Cole.
“Cole should also remember that he landed in the middle of a raging conflict with no idea of what was even going on in the party.
“People know that the 22 members of the APC who went to court on behalf of other party members, have contributed more to the APC in Rivers State than Cole and they are major stakeholders in the party as pioneer ward chairmen. They were part of those who put their lives on the line to build the APC in Rivers State.
“When the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government was chasing these same people, Cole was comfortably doing business with the same government he never uttered a word against the hell that these people went through. He cannot simply turn up now with police and army by his side and begin to accuse the same people of working for the PDP, the same PDP he just finished working with.
“If Cole is seeking a sincere leadership role in the APC he should address the behavior of leaders within the party which has brought the party to this sorry state today.
“It is time for him to take a break and inquire inwards. The Judges were in their court, we went to court, so instead of abusing the Nigerian judiciary, he should tell the world why people went to court and why an intra-party dispute could not be resolved within the party. What did he expect the judiciary to do in the circumstances?
“Fold their arms and allow innocent people to be humiliated and cheated without a remedy, and without consequences? The courts have effected the consequence, they equally provide a remedy.
“No individual should try to take sole credit for Rivers votes, it is no secret that we would have done much better if the available logistics was judiciously utilized in an all-inclusive manner and if needles efforts and resources were not wasted in a futile effort to undermine other leaders of the party rather than focus on maximizing the President’s victory.
“We should close this chapter of hate and join other Nigerians who are already moving to the next level. Rivers State should not be left behind,” he stated.