From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers State, Magnus Abe, has called on fellow gubernatorial candidates of political parties in the state to market their ideas to the people instead of mudslinging at each other.
He spoke at St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Bera (his home town), in Gokana Local Government Area, where he held a thanksgiving to appreciate God on his emergence as the governorship candidate of SDP in Rivers.
The former senator described himself as a man of ideas, who has solutions to some of the problems plaguing the people of the state.
“I am a man of ideas, better ideas that will convince the electorate that going with us in our vehicle will lead them to a better place. And that is what I expect every candidate of other political parties to do in the 2023 campaigns,” Abe said.
“We must pray for a peaceful election in our state. We will not just pray for a peaceful election, all of us must work for a peaceful election,” he added.
“We must be peaceful in our conduct before, during and after the elections, and not harass anybody. Everybody has a right to support whoever they want to support.
“Every political party must be given space, when it is time, when the campaigns start, to campaign for candidates of their choice.”
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He emphasised that Nigerian democracy has come of age and is no longer the usual “carry-go” democracy of yesteryears.
“Now, the people of this country want to exercise their right to choose leaders of their choice. They cannot do so except we create an atmosphere in which ideas can freely flourish.
“Don’t tear another person’s billboard. Don’t tear another person’s poster. Don’t beat up people who do not agree with you. Don’t fight them.
“Rivers State is for all of us. I believe that everybody who is contesting today is contesting because he desires to see a better Rivers State.”
He pointed out that job creation and meaningful engagements of the youths will create a peaceful and progressive state and end insecurity.
The SDP candidate equally noted that: “If people are sad, if people are not happy, if people are miserable, if people are disenchanted and disillusioned, our state is not successful when that is the situation.
“I believe that everybody who wants office wants it so that the state can be better. If it is because of Rivers people that you want to hold office, you will not want to beat them, you will not want to frustrate them, you will not want to kill them, you will not want to wound them.
“If you want Rivers people to be happy, even your campaign will make them happy. That is the kind of thing that I expect that we should all do.”
In his sermon, Vicar of the Church Venerable Robinson Nwako commended Senator Abe and his friends for coming to thank God and prayed for success in all their endeavours ahead of the general election.