By Suoyo Ekubo
The Governorship Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has said he is withdrawing his petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the interest of Rivers State and Rivers people especially those who have sacrificed so much to support the struggle.
Abe, who made the announcement while addressing SDP stakeholders at Freedom House, in Port Harcourt said: “The interest of our State has always been and will remain paramount to me. We cannot at any stage of our politics put our own interest above the interest of those who have sacrificed so much to follow us.
“We cannot also put our ego above every other consideration in our State. We must learn as politicians to be pragmatic and put the interest of Rivers State and Rivers people above every other interests.
“Having taken a very clear review of the situation in the state and what is happening in the state, I have decided, in consultation with the party both at the national and at the state, that I, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, will withdraw my petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal in the interest of those who have suffered and sacrificed in support of our cause.
“More importantly, it is the interest of our state so that we begin to reduce the bickering and confusion that is in our state, in order to give all of us opportunity to be able to move forward with our lives.
“I take this decision very conscious of the pain, of the trauma and of the confusion it will bring to all of you”.
Abe denied allegations by the state government that he was demarketing the state in anticipation of a Federal Government appointment.
He said: “When I was away, I was sent newspaper copies of a story credited to the Rivers State Government to the effect that I, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe was going round demarketing Rivers State for an appointment. We know those who are looking for appointments and we know those who are pushing people aside”.
He maintained that those who blocked a major road in Port Harcourt at INEC’s gate and arrested lawyers in their hotel rooms from getting materials that could help their case in the Courts are those who are demarketing the state.
Meanwhile, Abe has expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for fulfilling his promise to the people of Ogoni.
He said: “I want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping his promise to the Ogoni people and delivering key commitment; it is not only the clean-up exercise that has been realized but the Ogoni people have benefited from your contributions to the economic growth of the country”.
The SDP Governorship Candidate however, appealed to the President to address the issue of subsidy removal before the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2023.
Abe said: “I want to appeal to the President on another promise he made to Nigerians about settling the issue of fuel subsidy. Mr. President should take a second look at the subsidy issue before May 29, 2023, so that things will be clearer to Nigerians,” he added.