Great leaders and visionary personalities have at crucial periods in a nation’s history risen to the occasion in bringing about transformational change as well as the re-orientation of societal norms and practices in tune with the practical realities and idealistic tenets of the prevailing epoch.
For instance the United States of the 1960s was dominated by four outstanding personalities and their liberal progressive ideology: Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, Senator Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King who were instrumental to the dismantling of the reactionary racist ideology of the 50s and the enthronement of equity and justice in the crucial arenas of civil rights, healthcare, employment, housing and voting rights.
Without the bold, purposeful and compassionate exertions of these progressive titans and their legion of foot soldiers, activists and reformers, America would still be dominated by the racist, segregationist, white supremacist dogma propagated by the extremist wing of the Republican Party and their allies in the old Southern confederacy.
Coming near home, it is no hidden secret that many states in the country have been torn apart by communal, ethnic and religious strife that in many cases have led to wanton destruction of lives and property, the forcible displacement of thousands of hapless IDPs, incessant kidnappings, cult violence, farmer/herdsmen conflicts and of course the raging Boko Haram insurgency.
Without doubt, a lot of these crises and disturbance have been fueled by desperate and conniving politicians and other influential personalities that utilize armed criminal gangs for their own nefarious purposes only to dump them when they no longer require their services.
Of course the armed gangs, have no other recourse but to unleash their depravity and dementia on innocent citizens, pillaging, wrecking, raping and mutilating whatever and whoever stands or strays into their vengeful path.
In Rivers state this sordid pattern rings true as many communities are virtually deserted as a result of the dastardly activities of armed gangs and cult groups that have turned those affected areas into living hell where death, destruction and depredations rule the roost.
Indeed, Rivers state is in sore need of visionary progressive, principled, detribalized and compassionate men and women in the tradition of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King who can unite divided communities, heal deep seated wounds and initiate worthwhile programs and policies that can uplift the welfare and wellbeing of the people, thus reversing the neglect, decay and despair that has been the bane of the start for years on end.
Undoubtedly one eminent leader, statesman and erudite personality that fits the billing of a uniter, a healer, a motivator, a conciliator, a builder, an interlocutor and a political plenipotentiary par excellence is Distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Chairman Senate Committee on FERMA (Federal Roads Maintenance Agency) presently representing the stoic and hardworking people of Rivers South East Senatorial Zone in the 8th National Assembly.
Of course, Senator Magnus Abe is nationally acknowledged as a front line member of the G-11 Senators that broke ranks with the autocratic PDP leadership in 2014 setting the stage for the dethronement of the party at the federal level, thus ending 16 years of largely self aggrandizing, kleptocratic and despotic mismanagement of the nation’s resources by the self styled ‘largest party in Africa’ that had vowed to remain in power by hook or by crook for 60 years.
Indeed given his principled, resolute, resilient and compassionate credentials, Senator Magnus Abe is the right man for the herculean task of returning Rivers state to the glory days of yore when the state’s capital Port Harcourt was the economic and industrial hub of the West African sub-region with billions of dollars in monthly turnover from activities in and around the state thus attracting foreign direct investment to the state’s booming economy.
In fact Senator Magnus Abe made his mark in those fortuitous years as a member of the River state House of Assembly, Commissioner of information and later as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) where he is credited with totally restructuring and re-organizing the Rivers state civil service and MDA bureaucracy for a more responsive and efficient service delivery to the people and business community at large.
Corruption, nepotism, favouritism, and godfatherism were totally abolished in the state’s public service thus instilling a refreshing work ethic that produced stellar results and fast track economic growth with infrastructural development of roads, health facilities, schools, water boreholes, power utilities proceeding at a frenetic pace.
In fact Senator Magnus Abe’s adroit leadership desiderata as SSG was instrumental to the emergence of Rivers as a fast developing ‘African Lion’ economy to rival the ‘Tiger’ economies of South East Asia in the early 21st century, only for the state to plummet to unimaginable lows after he left the corridors of power.
However, all hope is not lost as the Distinguished Senator is set to repeat the same feat he had engineered as the people-oriented SSG in the previous era, encapsulating fast track economic growth, an industrial and manufacturing revolution, physical and infrastructural development and uniting the diverse ethnic, linguistic and cultural communities under the banner of ‘One Rivers, One Destiny’.
An astute parliamentarian, Senator Magnus Abe is highly respected and well regarded for his articulate, erudite and cerebral grasp, of policy issues, complexities and nuances, having also established himself as an unassailable Emancipator of the Grassroots, his empowerment of adults, women and youths is second to none in the federation.
The undisputed tribune of the dispossessed and disenfranchised operates an open door inclusive policy where the flow of persons, ideas, views and opinions is unfettered and unprecedented in our nascent democratic dispensation.
Without doubt, Distinguished Senator Magus Abe is the required man at the right time to assume the mantle of governorship of Rivers state, come 2019. If Not Senator Magnus Abe, Who? If Not 2019, When? To God Be the Glory.
By Comrade Austin Asadu, The Legislative Writers Forum, 08106797806