By Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Senator Magnus Abe, immediate past representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District at the National Assembly has described the existing problem in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as self inflicted injury.
He stated on Monday, at the 3rd edition of Christmas Carol night sponsored by his immediate family in Port Harcourt.
According to the former Senator, the party logo wouldn’t have been removed from the ballot paper if the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi had not interfered in the agreement of the stakeholders of the party on their Congresses in the state
He narrated that Ibrahim Umar and 22 others approached the court when thiey were unjustly denied their rights.
Abe stressed that the recent action by Hon Igo Aguma was not different from what he has been clamouring for, a party that is united and focus with responsible leadership.
He said: “Let we use this opportunity to say some few things that has happened in our politics of late. I was in Lagos when I heard that the court has discharged or struck out the case of Ibrahim Umar and others because the court felt they were asking for interpretation or enforcement of the judgement, that the court felt that it couldn’t interpret or enforce the judgement. For whatever reason, the court in its wisdom decision to strike out the case.
“As soon as the case was struck out, the same thing that was always happening just happened immediately. I got a call that NWC is going to meet, before you say Jack Robinson, NWC had approved congresses for Rivers State, date has been set, the Congress was to take place over the weekend, by January 4, 2020 Congress is over. A new party structure is installed.
“And I said to myself, in what kind of country do people act like that. I want to make very strong observation. The fact that I have refused to argue about what happened to APC in Rivers State, but everybody in the state knows what happened to the party, was a self inflicted injury.
“First of all we all held a meeting, we call it expanded State Executive Committee meeting and at that meeting the issue of the Congress at that time and question of forms were discussed. We quarried, we argued and we all agreed on how the Congress will be handled, that forms should be given to everybody who is a stakeholder in the party apart from the Minister who was at that meeting.
“We almost caught, Igo Aguma was almost beaten up at that meeting and I remembered how me and him quarried at that meeting and at the end of it we all agreed on what should be done. But as soon as the Minister heard that we have all agreed and so that the party can be united and work together, he turned everything we have all agreed on upside-down.
“The technical Committee that we all set up to handle the detail of the agreement we reached was instantly disbanded and the order was given not to give forms to anybody except those approved by the leader of the party. That decision was the foundation of the destruction of the APC in that election.
“When people now heard that everything had been turned upside-down and they are not to be given forms, all those people ran to the Secretariat to challenge that decision. Nobody tried to calm them and explain what happened rather SARS was called instead and live bullets were rained on members of this great party for demanding their rights. It was that decision that led to the court action by Ibrahim Umar and 22 others.
“But it didn’t even end there. When they filed the case at the court, the state Legal Adviser of the party, went to the court and swore an affidavit. An order was given the next day to shut the court so that the case could not be heard. All these decisions was the foundation why APC was not on the ballot.
“It is important that we remember this fact and recount this history so that people will know how we got to where we are. We made all the right voice that will make the party come back but people insisted in digging. As soon as as the judgement was delivered on Ibrahim Umar and 22 others, they immediately announced date for congress.
“So, the other day when I heard Him Igo Aguma making a statement even though alot of things he said pleading but I understand his position. I didn’t take it to heart because the substance of what he is saying is still the same thing with we have been saying. That we cannot go on like because is a high to no where.”
However the former senator appreciated his friends and political associates for still believing in him even after he has left office.
“This year I wanted a small family gathering, I wanted it to be just us and our close friends because there is alot to thank God for. We have alot to be grateful to God and I felt that we should feel one another really come close to each other and that is why I decided to have the programme in my house.
“I just want to say thank you to all of you, I know how it is important today but you left all that to come and be part of this.
“The first thing I will like to say is what I have been saying always, even now. Is to say a big thank you to all my friends, family members, political associates who have been so much with me. Who have sacrificed so much in the cause of our struggle for justice, in the cause of our struggle for truth, in the cause of our struggle that the right thing should be done and that Rivers State should have an opportunity to blossom and prosper. You have sacrificed so much.
“We are friends. It doesn’t matter how the politics turns out, I want us to remain friends.
“I stand here again to assure you all that the Almighty God that we all serve has never been silent to injustice. He may tarry but He will definitely arrive and will arrive on time”, Senator Abe added.