Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, on Sunday received three youths who trekked from Port Harcourt to Bera, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, to congratulate him on his re-election in the December 10, 2016, legislative rerun election in the state.
The three young trekkers had embarked on the journey on Wednesday December 14, 2016, and arrived Bera, Gokana LGA on Thursday December 15, 2016.
However they could not meet with the Senator until yesterday when he publicly received and honoured them.
The trekkers are Nuhu Taminu (24 years) from Nasarawa State, Monday Joseph (20 years) from Nasarawa State, and Blessing Peter (23) from Abia State.
Receiving the youths at his residence in Port Harcourt, Senator Abe said that it was unfortunate that he could not meet them when they arrived Bera, Gokana, his home town, because of his trip to Abuja for his swearing-in.
“I was actually in Abuja when I heard that they had embarked on a walk from Port Harcourt to my village to come and congratulate me. I didn’t have the opportunity to receive them then. I heard they were threatened by some PDP thugs along the way but they persisted and insisted that they must keep to their promise. That is why I decided to send for them to acknowledge them publicly and to say that Nigeria remains a free country and people in this country are free to do what their minds tell them; they are free to walk to any part of Nigeria that they want to walk to in order to express themselves,” Senator Abe said.
He commended them for their courage, stating that their resistance is a reflection that freedom, which was a tenet of democracy, was a right of citizens for which the Nigerian constitution guaranteed and congratulated them on their discipline and commitment to undertake the journey.
Senator Abe pointed out that what they had displayed was a statement that Nigeria was a democracy where citizens had a right to express their feelings unmolested in accordance with the law.
According to him: “You are a symbol of the Nigeria that we want to build; a country that cuts across ethnic and religious lines; a country where people can express themselves freely without fear. You are also the symbol of courage that we want to see in the young people of this country.”
The former Secretary to Rivers State Government said his problem with PDP and Gov. Nyesom Wike was that “they do not want the people to exercise their freedom in the choice of their candidate rather they prefer to intimidate the people and select winners.”
Senator Abe said his election has showed that the will of the people will triumph if only the Nigerian state will protect and guarantee their right of freedom against the enemies of democracy.
“Nigeria is a democracy and the main ingredient of democracy is freedom. People must be free to do what they want to do; people cannot be threatened over what they believe; people cannot be killed over which political party they choose to associate with. All these kind of things are not part of what democracy should be. In Rivers State, we have witnessed a lot of that and I think it is time for us to put an end to those kinds of things,” he said.