Your ‘Draconian Measures’ To Fight Coronavirus Will Prove Counter-Productive, Abe Tells Wike

 

Former representative of Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has warned that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s ‘draconian measures’ to fight against the spread of Coronavirus will prove counter productive if he fails to give his policies a human face.

This is as he stated that the war against the pandemic is fundamentally about collective humanity and therefore must be fought on strictly humane and just terms.

Abe, in a statement on his Facebook page, titled: “A Dangerous Gamble” said, the demolition and auction of private property, the closure of all sources of survival for citizens of Rivers State without due consideration to their means of sustenance in the name of the battle against COVID-19, are draconian measures that will prove counter productive in the long run.

READ ALSO: Senate President Commends Yobe Govt Over Probe Of ‘Mystery Deaths’

The statement reads in parts: “I am constrained to say these few words on the worrisome development in my dear State, Rivers.

“Lockdowns should come with clear provisions for the sustenance of the people, particularly the vulnerable population (the young, the old, the sick and the infirm) and exemptions must be made for emergency and essential services, such as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, press, medical care, and security services, electricity, telecom, fuel supply etc”.

The senator cautioned that even in times of physical warfare, such actions of the governor is a war crime, because power without compassion is tyranny, he maintained.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain asserted that Rivers State war against COVID-19 at the present rate “runs the risk of dividing the state into two distinct camps, those who support the Governor and will justify, glorify and applaud any action taken by the Rivers State Government no matter how callous and ill-advised, and those who oppose the governor and will oppose every action of the state government no matter how well thought out or well intentioned the action may be”.

He argued that in the face of glaring excesses, everyone will be compelled to choose one side or the other, and our state will suffer.

Abe said: “This need not be so; there is still time for the Rivers State Government to reconsider its strategy, and understand that this is a scientific war against a virus and all of us will need to be involved.

At this rate, the government may win the lockdown battle and lose the war. COVID-19 is going to be here for some time and we need the goodwill and cooperation of the majority of our people to win the war against this virus.

True victory will be when we survive united in utmost solidarity and our economy rebounds as we hope for recovery and prosperity.

This war is fundamentally about collective humanity, it must, therefore, be fought on strictly humane and just terms”.

Rivers APC Primaries: Supreme Court Strikes Out Abe’s Notice Of Amendment

 

The Supreme Court has struck out the notice of amendment filed by Senator Magnus Abe on the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

In a unanimous judgment read on Monday by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Mohammed, the apex court dismissed the application on the ground that it lacks merit.

The court also noted that the suit is incompetent and a gross violation of order 2 rule 8 of the supreme court rules.

It held that once a notice of appeal has been found defective, it cannot be amended.

READ ALSOCourt Nullifies Rivers APC Primaries, Restrains INEC From Recognising Cole, Abe As Candidates

The Federal High court in Port Harcourt had on January 7, nullified the direct and indirect primaries conducted by the two factions of the APC in the state.

Justice Kolawole Omotosho, who presided over the case also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from presenting Tonye Cole and Magnus Abe as governorship candidates in the general elections.

He said none of the primaries were conducted according to the law, noting that the INEC did not do well by submitting names of candidates without consideration of previous court orders.

Following the court’s ruling, Senator Abe filed an appeal against the nullification of the party’s primaries at the Supreme Court.

RELATED POSTSupreme Court Hears Magnus Abe’s Motion On Rivers APC Primaries

 

Supreme Court Hears Magnus Abe’s Motion On Rivers APC Primaries

Rivers Primaries: Supreme Court To Rule On APC Appeals On Tuesday
Supreme Court of Nigeria

 

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court is hearing a motion filed by Senator Magnus Abe of the All Progressives Congress (APC), seeking the leave of the court to amend his notice of appeal on the Rivers State Governorship primaries.

The apex court panel is led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Mohammed.

READ ALSO: Rivers APC Primaries! Next Step Is To Appeal Ruling, Says Magnus Abe

Senator Abe who is a factional leader of the APC in the state wants the court to make a final pronouncement on the legality of both direct and indirect primary polls conducted by the two factions of the party in 2018.

The motion dated March 1, 2019, is predicated on eight grounds and an affidavit of urgency among which the matter being a pre-election suit must by law be determined within 60 days.

Listed as respondents are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and 34 others.

Supreme Court Sets April 4 To Hear Abe, Cole’s Appeals On Rivers APC Primaries

Supreme Court Sets April 4 To Hear Abe, Cole's Appeals On Rivers APC Primaries

 

The Supreme Court has adjourned till April 4 to hear all pending appeals relating to the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

A seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad fixed the date for hearing on all the various appeals after addressing some preliminary issues on the appeals.

The appeals are SC/ 1972019 filed by Senator Magnus Abe and some others, with APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed as the respondents; SC 295/ 20019 filed by APC, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) listed among the respondents.

READ ALSOObasanjo Calls For Stronger Opposition In Nigeria

Other appeals are SC 266 filed by APC with Senator Abe and others as respondents and SC/267/2019 filed by Mr Tonye Cole with Senator Abe and 48 others as respondents.

The court granted the motion by the APC, represented by Mr Jibrin Okutepa for permission to merge the different respondents’ briefs, earlier filed by the second to the thirty-fifth respondents, into a single brief.

But it rejected a similar motion filed by the appellants’ lawyer, Henry Bello, for leave permission to amend the notice of appeal on grounds that Mr Bello failed to attach the old notice of appeal to the motion, as required.

The apex court ordered appellants to file their reply to the respondents’ brief of argument within 48 hours.

The three appeals were adjourned till April 4 to allow the formal service of hearing notices and all other processes on INEC, which was not represented in court.

Senator Abe, a factional leader of the APC in Rivers, is praying the apex court to make a final pronouncement on the legality of both direct and indirect primary polls conducted by the two factions of the party in 2018.

The motion dated March 1 was predicated on eight grounds and affidavit of urgency among which was that the matter, being a pre-election suit, must by law be fully determined within 60 days.

Rivers APC Primary: Supreme Court To Hear Abe’s Appeal On March 26

No APC Ward Congress In Rivers, Says Magnus Abe
Magnus Abe (file photo)

 

The Supreme Court will on March 26, begin hearing in the appeal seeking the determination of the authenticity of the direct primary conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State for the nomination of its candidates for the 2019 general election.

APC factional governorship candidate in the state, Senator Magnus Abe is asking the apex court to make a final pronouncement on the legality of both direct and indirect primary polls conducted by the party’s two factions last year.

When the matter was mentioned, Senator Abe’s counsel, Mr. Henry Bello, moved a motion praying the court to amongst others grant an accelerated hearing in the matter, an abridgment of time for parties to file their processes and a definite date for the hearing of the appeal.

He predicted the motion on 8 grounds and an affidavit of urgency because the matter is a pre-election appeal and must be determined within 60 days by law.

READ ALSO: Withholding My Certificate Of Return Has The Capacity To Cause Tension – Okorocha

However, counsels to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr. Tony Cole who are respondents in the matter did not object to the appeal.

They both noted that 24 hours is not enough for them to file their briefs of arguments.

But in a short ruling, Justice Mary Odili who presided over the five-man panel granted the 3 prayers of the appellant and adjourned hearing in the matter till March 26.

Justice Odili also ordered Mr Cole and other respondents to file their brief of argument within 3 days, while the appellant was granted the same time frame within which to file his own response.

Rivers APC Primaries: Next Step Is To Appeal Ruling, Says Magnus Abe

No APC Ward Congress In Rivers, Says Magnus Abe
File photo: Magnus Abe

 

The lawmaker representing Rivers South East district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, says he will appeal the court ruling which nullified the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

Reacting to the judgement in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday, the lawmaker stated that it would be unfair to the party supporters if he doesn’t act on the ruling.

“I believe that the next step is for us to go to the Court of Appeal,” he said in a Skype interview on Sunrise Daily.

“I don’t think that justice is served in a situation where over 150,000 members of the APC who did the right thing, did not disobey the law and followed the law would be disenfranchised just like that.”

Senator Abe’s comments come one day after a Federal High court in Port Harcourt nullified the direct and indirect primaries conducted by the two APC factions in Rivers.

The court had also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising the governorship candidates of the factions – Abe and Tonye Cole.

The presiding judge, Justice Kolawole Omotosho, held that none of the primaries were conducted according to the law.

But Senator Abe insisted that the platform on which he contested for the APC ticket was the legal faction of the party in the state.

He said, “In the eyes of the law, that is the only legal primary that was done. There are several primaries that were conducted even in this particular dispensation that were not supervised by the National Working Committee, but which the National Working Committee accepted.”

He, however, said it was up to the party to see how it would overcome its challenges and resolve the internal crisis in the state.

Court Nullifies Rivers APC Primaries, Restrains INEC From Recognising Cole, Abe As Candidates

A Federal High court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, has nullified the direct and indirect primaries conducted by the two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The court, presided over by Justice Kolawole Omotosho, also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from presenting Tonye Cole and Magnus Abe as governorship candidates in the general elections.

The judge said none of the primaries were conducted according to the law. He noted that the INEC did not do well by submitting names of candidates without consideration of previous court orders.

One of the counsels to the APC factions however told journalists that the judgement will be appealed at the Supreme Court.

Crisis erupted in the Rivers APC during the governorship primaries held in 2018 in the state.

Senator Abe in a direct governorship primary conducted by a faction of the APC was declared winner after he got 144, 929 votes. In an indirect primary held in the state by another faction of the APC, Cole was declared the winner with 3,329 votes.

The national leadership of the APC, however, submitted Cole’s name as its candidate insisting he emerged from the primary conducted by the party.

 

PDP Coalition ‘A Very Poor Imitation’ Of APC – Magnus Abe

 

The lawmaker representing Rivers South East, Senator Magnus Abe, has faulted the coalition formed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and over 30 other parties.

Senator Abe was confident that although the parties were trying to copy the All Progressives Congress (APC), they can’t achieve the success recorded by the ruling party.

“What is happening now is a very poor imitation of what we did to the PDP during the last elections,” the former PDP member said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

“It’s just people trying to imitate what has happened before without knowing that the circumstances and environment have changed dramatically, and what worked at that time is not necessarily what will work now,” the senator added.

READ ALSO: PDP Forms Coalition With Over 30 Political Parties

Senator Magnus Abe (file)

 

Unlike the PDP coalition, he said the APC was able to penetrate the then ruling PDP and win aggrieved strong members of the party into its fold.

According to Abe, the ruling party cracked the PDP by pulling out about six governors of states which the opposition party would have leveraged to retain power in the 2015 elections.

He said, “When we left (the PDP), we walked out of the convention with governors, with senators, and we shook the party from its very foundation; nothing like that has happened here.”

“In this new movement that you are seeing here, I didn’t see any selling governor seated in that hall. You have 40 political parties – some of these parties don’t even have a councillor, some don’t even have offices and what is the impact of that?” the lawmaker questioned.

He insisted that the coalition would have no effect on the APC, although the party may have some challenges in Kwara if the Senate President and the governor should leave.

Senator Abe was optimistic that the APC leadership under the watch of Adams Oshiomhole would do its best to address the concerns of aggrieved party members.

“What I would say is that clearly in the All Progressives Congress, mistakes have been made within the party … but the emergence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has given hope that some of these issues can and will be addressed,” he said.

The PDP leadership had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with that of 38 other political parties to wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in 2019.

They include members of the Reformed APC and that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Labour Party, and a host of other registered parties.

Magnus Abe, Finebone Disagree Over Rivers APC Ward Congress

Several reactions have continued to trail the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ward congresses which held in several parts of the country on Saturday.

Some of the party chieftains from Rivers State on Monday expressed disagreement over the conduct of the ward congress on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, where they both featured as guests.

While the Senator representing Rivers East, Magnus Abe insisted that electorates were scared by shooting from exercising their civic duties, Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone, maintained that the exercise was a success despite security threats.

READ ALSO: Drama As Evans Laments ‘Maltreatment’ In Prison

“No congresses held in Rivers State. The timeline is clearly impossible for anybody to meet up with. I came to the police station at about five’o clock when I heard that a member of the House of Representatives was being detained at the police station and when I got there, nobody was there selling any form. No form was sold.

“SARS was in my own ward as early as eight. I was still in my bathroom when they were shooting in my village and I told everybody to withdraw. So you see pictures, all over the internet of voting in Senator Abe’s ward. At eight’o clock, nine’o clock, that (the shootings) was going on in my own ward,” Abe said.

However, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone maintains the exercise was a success despite attempts to frustrate the process. He insisted that forms were sold despite threats by some people who were agitating.

“We decided to take the bull by the horn and sell forms. The problem was getting those who have been agitating and choked up the secretariat to clear. Even when those who were given the task to sell the form tried to enter there (the Secretariat), the police advised them to enter the police station. (due to the agitations)

“They (those carrying the form) now called us to complain that they cannot enter the secretariat that until they clear the place, they won’t be able to sell the forms.

“That was why the commissioner of police now took action that they to them abandoning all they took from the secretariat. So forms were now sold around 5’oclock,” Finebone explained.

Senator Abe, however, claimed that the information which Finebone revealed on national television was not made available to any member or leader of the party.

No APC Ward Congress In Rivers, Says Magnus Abe

No APC Ward Congress In Rivers, Says Magnus Abe
File photo: Magnus Abe

 

The lawmaker representing Rivers South East district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, says there is no ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 344 wards of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State.

In a statement by his spokesperson Parry Benson on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Senator Abe declared that there was no stakeholders’ meeting before the scheduled congress as promised by the leadership of the party in the state.

Abe, an APC governorship aspirant in the 2019 general elections, accused the leadership of the party in the state of going against the guidelines of the ward congress by allowing contestants to pick forms on the day of the congress.

He said, “The leadership of APC in Rivers State countered itself by issuing two statements today, Saturday, May 5, 2018, where it urged contestants to pick forms for the ward congress.

“The development is against the guidelines of the party’s congresses which said the purchase of nomination forms should end 24 hours before the commencement of the congress.”

The lawmaker further described the development as a fight against internal democracy in the APC and called on the national leadership of the party to intervene in the matter.

He added, “Our worry is that some leaders of the party deliberately want to obstruct the ward, local government and state congresses.

“We are appealing to the national leadership of the party to do what is right to ensure a free, fair, peaceful and credible congress in Rivers State”.

Senator Abe Declares Interest To Contest Rivers Governorship Election

Senator Abe Declares Interest To Contest Rivers Governorship Election
File photo: Magnus Abe

 

The lawmaker representing Rivers South-east senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has declared his intention to contest the next governorship election in the state.

Abe, a senator on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), declared his interest on Wednesday while addressing a mammoth crowd at an event in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

He explained that rationale behind his decision to run for the governorship position was in the interest of the future of the state, adding that he had made all necessary consultations.

“I have taken all these views into consideration. I have also consulted my family and most importantly, I have consulted my God. There are several persons who have advised me against seeking for the office of the governor just as there are several who have advised me to go for it. Looking back now, everybody who had spoken to me did so with the best of intentions,” the lawmaker said.

“Having taken all these into consideration, I, Magnus Ngei Dunebari Abe, I have decided to seek the nomination of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State, in the interest of our state and in the interest of the future of our people,” he added.

The senator also commended his supporters for conducting themselves with decorum, saying their action was not a sign of weakness but strength.

He noted that their actions have shown great respect for the leaders, stressing that they must not allow “conflict entrepreneurs and frustrated politicians” to cause a crisis in the party.

Abe urged members of the Rivers APC to ensure that the coming congresses are conducted freely, fairly and transparently.

According to him, any attempt to hold another hotel-style congress in Rivers State will break faith with the people of the state.

“Without the confidence of the voting public, a political party becomes a mere social club. It will be good for dancing and partying, but it will not win any elections,” Senator Abe said.

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Chibudom Nwuche, who also spoke at the event, called on the APC to learn from the mistakes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the country approaches the 2019 general elections.

He said, “PDP was imposing candidates and that was why some of us left. Today, it is happening in the APC but thank God, Senator Magnus Abe came up. Let us have a transparent congress and let the popular candidate emerge.”

I Contributed To Amaechi’s Birthday, I Have Nothing Against Anybody – Magnus Abe

The Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Magnus Abe, has denied having any issue with the former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge I don’t know about any rift between myself and the Minister, when you ask one party, maybe you should ask the other party”.

This is following alleged rumors of a rift and not attending the recently held birthday party of the former governor.

He disclosed that he contributed to the 52nd birthday party of Rotimi Amaechi but was unable to attend the event.

“I was not able to make it for the birthday of the minister but I contributed to it”.

Speaking to Channels Television’s Politics Programme, Senator Abe hinted that in politics there are bound to be differences.

On the issue of leadership in the party, he referred to the reports as “over-exaggerated” adding that “If there is an increase in leadership at the local government level, it can never be taken away”.

Resolving The Crisis

Senator Abe expressed confidence in the party, assuring that the issues rocking the party will be resolved.

He called for synergy between the leadership both in state and federal level to ensure that the challenges facing the nation is being addressed without distraction.

He advocated for unity within the party to further strengthen it.