Magnus Abe, a senator from Rivers State, has spoken on the inability of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to field candidates for the March 9 governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.
The court had foreclosed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting candidates from the APC because of a power tussle between a faction of the party that is loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and another loyal to Mr Abe.
Mr Abe claims to be the authentic governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers, while Mr Amaechi wanted his man, Tonye Cole, to fly the party’s flag.
“We have filed a case at the Supreme Court, we trying to see if they can hear the case before the elections,” Mr Abe told PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday night.
“It is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal. You know, we had asked the Court of Appeal to declare us the candidate. But they refused. So, we went to the Supreme Court.”
The senator, who spoke from Abuja, had said he was hopeful the Supreme Court could still deliver judgment on Thursday or Friday, before the elections on Saturday.
“If APC is not on the ballot, I will not be in Port Harcourt (for the elections),” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES asked the senator how he was feeling at the moment.
“Like any other person that is racing against time, we are concerned that time is running out. But let’s wait and see if we are able to get a date from the Supreme Court between today and tomorrow.
“If we are not, then it becomes clear that our party will not be on the ballot,” the senator said.
Mr Abe, interestingly, does not see what is going on as a lost opportunity for his party. It is part of the “change” that the APC promised Nigerians, he said.
“We promised Nigerians that APC was the party of change and that we were going to change the way things are done in the country.
“And I believe it is impossible to achieve true change, except people are ready to make the sacrifices that will make that change actually possible.
“So, we see what we are doing as our own contribution to making our country better, making our politics better, and ultimately making our state better. It is important we should change the way politics is conducted in this country.”
About how his supporters were feeling, the senator said, “Oh, they are anxious. They are praying, they are fasting, they are crying.
“A lot of them are in Abuja.
“Like I said, it has been a long road. They all believe we have done the right thing and that God will help us.”
He also talked about his plan for the future.
“The elections should be over, and then there will be a need for us to put ourselves together properly and look to the future.
“I am not discouraged in any way. You know, life could be unpredictable sometimes. I should continue to serve my people whether I have a government job or not, and continue to offer support to the values and leaders I believe in. We are going to continue to support the president.
“I am not leaving APC. We will make the party work for Nigerians. We will make it live up to its ideals,” Mr Abe said.
Meanwhile, the minister for transportation, Mr Amaechi, has asked the APC members and supporters in the state to vote for the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Awara Biokpomabo, who hails from troubled Akuku Toru Local Government Area.