(By Silas Tamuno) Members of the All Progressives Congress and the entire citizens of Rivers state have been urged to to come out en masse and participate in the forthcoming local government council elections, in order to be involved in a democratic process to elect who represents them at the grassroots.
This call was made by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, while speaking at a meeting of stakeholders of the party in Port Harcourt recently, but challenged Governor Nyesom Wike to provide a level playing field for all participants, irrespective of political affiliations.
The senator recalled that Wike had severally advocated for free and fair elections devoid of federal might and force to influence election outcome, therefore it behoves on him to justify his mantra by giving the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RESIEC), a free hand to conduct, free and credible polls.
He objected to some dissenting voices in the All Progressives Congress (APC), that wanted members to boycott the election, insisting that political parties are formed as a vehicle whereby, members could aspire and be elected to serve their people and condemned such insinuation as counterproductive.
Abe said, “the fact that we have different political parties does not mean that we are suddenly, no longer Rivers people. It is not correct, and that is not how to grow the state.
If we don’t come out to participate, how do we tell the world that the election was free or fair? How do we say what was wrong with an election we refused to take part? How do we make elections better in Rivers State if we don’t come out and participate?
The requirement to contest in an election is that you should be a member of a political party and we are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and therefore eminently qualified to contest in the elections in Rivers State. It is our State.
The purpose of election is to serve the people. If they pick our people, they should be allowed to serve.
We are challenging the governor of Rivers State to organize the election in the way he said he wanted elections to be organized and let Rivers people go out and contest. Test their popularity for the people to decide on those they want to run the affairs at the grassroots. That’s the purpose of politics.