By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has said he has dropped his ambition of becoming the governor of Rivers State in 2019 following the ruling of the Supreme Court that has ended the legal tussle in the party.
He has also declared that it is time to rebuild the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, adding that the task of rebuilding rest on all those who have an interest in seeing the party grow.
The task, he said, is left for party members and not for one man to decide the direction and future of the party in the state.
Abe, one of the dramatis personae in the legal tussles that cost the APC the chance of being on the ballot in Rivers State, also appealed to the national leadership of the party to refrain from doing anything that would promote illegality and confusion within the party in the state.
The former governorship aspirant spoke during a stakeholders meeting of the APC, called at the instance of the factional state Chairman, Prince Peter Odike, at the party secretariat in Port Harcourt.
He said, “Everybody who wants to be part of the APC should come let us build the party. I have ended my own ambition for 2019 here today. I am now a member of the party just like everybody else, and I am ready to support the party in any way.
“I call on everybody who has interest in this party, whose expectations, aspirations one way or the other were not met to also drop whatever ambitions they have. Let us come together and face the task of rebuilding our party.
“There is one single rule of progress which I will like to share with all of you. That rule is that when you are in a hole, stop digging. There is no point pretending that the APC in Rivers State is not in a hole. We are in a hole. Let us stop digging.
“Because if you continue to dig, you go deeper into the hole; so all those who are accusing anybody against anybody, blaming anybody, doing this or that, let us stop it so that we can save this party.
“This appeal is across board. In moving forward it will take a lot of sacrifices on the part of everybody. We must understand that it is our own determination that will make the APC work for Rivers people”.
He urged the party’s leadership to work with the Peter Odike-led executive in the state, which he said was recognised by an extant court judgment, in order to begin the task of putting things right in the party.
His words: “Based on the existing judgment of the Supreme Court, which stopped the congresses in Rivers State at that time and voided those that have been held, the only legitimate executive of the party is the one that the court says should maintain the status quo.
“That is the executive led by Chief Peter Odike. There is every need therefore to begin the urgent, necessary, important and inescapable task of putting the APC together in Rivers State. And it has to be done through the legitimate executive of the party.
“I wish to use this opportunity to call on the national leadership of the party to stop doing anything that will promote illegality, confusion, and problem in the APC in Rivers State.
“They should work with Odike so that we can begin to put things together. For there to be order, decency, and progress in any society, there must be an end to every dispute and every litigation.
“So the pronouncement by the Supreme Court brought an end to our agitation for the direct primaries.
“Henceforth, when you hear APC do not say Magnus for Governor, do not say Magnus the Governor, do not say Magnus 2023. Do not say anything. Say change. That is the slogan of our party”.
In his remark, Senator Wilson Ake stated that no one individual can decide who becomes what in the APC in the state, stressing the need for peoples’ views to be respected.
Earlier, Odike lauded all members and supporters of the party who stood firmly on the side of justice and equity.
“By doing this you have just ensured that our great party successfully passed through the firmament of political refinement and will hopefully emerge stronger in democratic ethos, principles, and practice. These are virtues which will definitely engrave our party in the political minds of the electorate and will guarantee electoral victory, going forward.
“Even the Supreme Court, the highest court in the Federal Republic of Nigeria has authenticated our leadership in the state. It has equally provided the party with the best opportunity to reconcile varying interests,” Odike stated.