Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Rivers South East Senatorial District in the legislative re-run elections has enjoined the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers to caution Gov. Nyesom Wike against dragging the traditional institution into divisive politics.
In a letter written to the chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, JP ( Jeki V), Amayanabo of Opobo and signed by Senator Abe, said that the right thinking people of Rivers State view with serious concern the threat by the governor to sack traditional rulers on political grounds.
Senator Abe said although the governor had politicized everything in the state, taking it to the traditional rulers is to set a dangerous precedent that might not augur well for the peace and progress of the state.
“Every institution in the state has been affected by this deep division in our polity. Your Majesty, the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers is today the only organized body of leaders and elders in Rivers State that has the capacity to talk to every side of the political divide”.
Abe warned that this development might not serve the interest of the traditional rulers as it might set a chain reaction that would affect the institution adversely in future.
“This position of Gov. Wike is an ill disguised ploy to politicize the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and victimize traditional rulers who refuse to play the script of the PDP and compromise their stools for temporary gain. If traditional rulers are dismissed for this reason, we the members of the All Progressives Congress will assume that every traditional ruler that is spared dismissal has compromised his stool in favour of the PDP.”
He said they of the APC were mindful of the activities of the governor to compel traditional rulers to dissociate from their subjects who were members of the APC in all traditional activities in their various kingdoms, pointing out that such action was taking politics to the extreme.
He, therefore, pleaded with the traditional rulers not to succumb to the pressure of Gov.Wike to bastardize the institution by advising the governor to thread with caution on this delicate and revered institution.
Abe said if the plans of Gov. Wike were actualized that the very structure that could hold Rivers people together, protect their interest and be apolitical would have been destroyed.
“Should the Governor proceed to make good his threat, the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will then be seen and perceived as an affiliate of the PDP, a PDP council of traditional rulers. This will mean that whenever the APC regains power the pro-PDP council will be cleansed using the same PDP method of accusation and dethronement. This will start an unending yoyo dance that will balkanize our traditional institutions and bring them to disrepute”.
He said this critical period would provide an acid test of their wisdom to save what remained the last bastion that kept Rivers people together, pointing out that God will give them the wisdom to navigate through this period to overcome this trying time.
Abe narrated in the letter how the governor had been employing divisive politics by hijacking the entire structure of his party against the zoning policy of PDP and extending such to all facets of the state except the council of traditional rulers, he is now contemplating.
Some of these actions, Abe stated had produced unprecedented violence, which had plunged the state into crisis, making it impossible to conduct re-run elections in the state thereby leaving the state unrepresented in the Senate, inadequately represented in the House of Representatives and denying some constituencies in the state representation in the State House of Assembly.
He said the height of impunity and disrespect for the rule of law is the barring of members of the State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the APC in taking part in the proceedings of the House.
The former Secretary to Rivers State Government said the actions of the governor was at variance with the oath of his office and appealed to him to consider the overall interest of the state rather than his parochial stance.
PARRY SAROH BENSON
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