Ahead of the 2023 general election in the country, candidates of various political parties are strategizing on how to emerge victorious. One of the major contenders of Rivers State Gubernatorial seat, is Sen. Magnus Abe.
The undisputable political super-power from Rivers state announced the much anticipated defection to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) days after resigning membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The move confirms reports that have trended in the rumour mills for weeks with Abe, long estranged from Rivers APC, boasting repeatedly in every fora that, “I will be on the 2023 ballot. That I can assure Rivers people.”
Rivers State, like many other states in the country has always produced winners from the two major political parties in the state – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But in the election coming up in 2023, a third force – the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – has emerged, courtesy Senator Abe’s emergence as its candidate. Apparently, the three parties would have to slug it out in the next election to determine the next governor of the state.
Announcing the move to SDP in a statement he signed and posted on his personal facebook wall, Abe stated,, “Yes I am and I have been a member of the social Democratic Party SDP. “I remain irrevocably committed to the ideals that have driven my politics through the years. And will continue to do all we can to improve internal democracy in the politics of our country and focus on the people”.
As we speak, the ambience in Rivers state is that the people want a change of leadership, away from the tyranny which holds sway in the state. But they may want to tilt towards a new candidate, apart from the two dominant parties. Anyway, the poll determines who will emerge as the new governor at the end of the day.
With this development, the former representative of Rivers South East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, is now expected to take over the Rivers SDP 2023 governorship ticket from current holder, Pronen Maurice.
In considering the capacity and chances of Sen. Magnus Abe, it is worthy of mention that he has been in the upper chamber of the legislative arm and has promulgated laws that would be beneficial to the country and his people.
Born, May 24. In 1965, Magnus Ngei Abe served as a Senator for the Rivers South East Senatorial District of Rivers State, Nigeria. He was first elected to the Nigerian Senate in 2011 in the April 2011 Federal elections and again in a rerun poll in December 2016. In the 2015 general elections, he lost a return bid to Senator Olaka Nwogu. Before the poll, like others in Rivers, was invalidated by the court, necessitating a rerun poll. In 2019, Abe was succeeded by Hon. Barry Mpigi.
After obtaining an LL.B degree in Law, he was called to Nigerian Bar in 1987, starting work as a Pupil State Counsel for the Federal Ministry of Justice, Lagos. He went into private practice as a junior partner with Okocha & Okocha, Manuchim Chambers, later becoming a managing partner with Etim-Inyang, Abe in Port Harcourt.
Senator Abe entered politics in 1999 when he was elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, serving as a Minority Leader. In 2003 he defected to the PDP, and from 2003 to 2007 he was Commissioner of Information in Rivers State in the administration of Governor Peter Odili. When Governor Chibuike Amaechi entered office in May 2007, Abe was appointed as Secretary to the State Government. He resigned to compete for the position of Senator for Rivers South East, but was then re-appointed as the Secretary to Rivers State Government.
In the April 2011 elections, Abe gained 154,218 votes, ahead of Dr. Nomate Toate Kpea of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 34,978 votes. Senator Magnus Abe defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) on 29 January 2014.
Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, in July, vehemently, said the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, lacked the capacity to win the 2023 general elections in the State. Abe disclosed that it was on this premise that he dumped the party.
The former APC chieftain also claims strongly that Governor Wike would not solely determine who would succeed him in 2023 general elections but the majority of the people of the State.
In his words, “If the President of Nigeria, who is more powerful than the governor cannot decide who will be the next President to succeed him, then the governor of Rivers State will not decide who will succeed him.
He vehemently opposes any sort of voter bribery because it undermines the democratic process. He has many times encouraged Political parties to run issues-based campaigns, rather than tempting voters with unsustainable gifts that do not contribute to the state’s economic development.
As expected, Rivers State political observers are of the opinion that the prominent son of Rivers State is enjoying street credibility.
Senator Magnus Abe in February, 2022, was endorsed by Chiefs and Elders of Bera Community in his local government area of Gokana for the Governorship position ahead of 2023 .
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper