Tony John, Port Harcourt
The senator representing Rivers South East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe, has said that no individual can determine the future of Rivers State.
Abe spoke in Port Harcourt, emphasising that the right to choose who will govern the state and those who will lead, must remain exclusively with the people of the state.
He posited that as leaders, it is their responsibility to ensure that the process is done in a manner that is peaceful, responsible and that gives the final choice, as to who leads in the hands of the people of the state.
“If Nigerians, if Rivers people want a better state, and they want a better life, they must come out and fight for what they believe in and that is what I think we ought to be doing.
“In many places in this country, when these elections were going on, citizens came out and stood their ground and at the end of the day, everybody had to submit to what the citizens wanted.
“So, I believe that the future of Rivers State is in the hands of Rivers people. They need to come together and decide on what is right, what is proper and how we can make things better in Rivers State.
“It is not something that will happen by accident; people must come out and fight for it and I am ready to be one of those people that will fight for a better Rivers State,” he maintained.
The senator stated that for Nigeria to achieve democratic stability, the people must work within the confine of the electoral process, adding that anything short of this, amounts to tyranny, dictatorship, anarchy, and unending violence.
Abe attributed the lack of faith of the citizens in the constitutional process as some factors responsible for the electoral violence experienced in the country.
“Nigerians need to believe and submit to that process. The fact that we don’t, is what creates the violence, creates the problem, creates the accusations and the demonstrations you see.
“Another problem with Nigerian democracy is the fact that the people who take part in elections in Nigeria are themselves not democrats.
“Politicians don’t go into elections ready to accept the will of the people; they already have predetermined results and so will do everything possible to subvert the process and create a particular result that they already decided that they will like to have.
“So, if we turn around to blame the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for all the challenges that come out of that kind of disposition toward the electoral process, it is unfair,” the senator stated.
He condemned the attitude of some desperate politicians, who instead of campaigning for votes from electorate, arrogate victory to themselves before the elections, thereby spilling the blood of innocent Nigerians.
“There is an election that comes up every four years in Nigeria and every adult in this country knows that there would be election in 2019, and those who are qualified to vote are prepared long before the due date.
“How you reach out to this people and how you organise yourself to get the best of the goodwill is the politics; that is the work of the political party. Now, where you don’t do that and then, you give instructions to people to go and vote in a particular manner, your followers can obey that instructions, but the general population will not obey it,” he noted.