The 2023 Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has said that defection of himself and his followers from the SDP, to the All Progressives Congress, was to join other Nigerians, in supporting the current administration of President Bola Tinubu.
Abe who made this known while speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, said their return to the ruling APC, was not to cause division within the party, but to help Tinubu achieve his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda,’ while also helping the Rivers people to benefit from the government at the centre.
He said, “My message has been consistent that we all need to come together, work together to be able to harvest these expectations of our people.
“So, basically I called my people here today to intimate them on some of the ongoing issues and also to let them know that we are returning to the All Progressives Congress, to join other well-meaning Nigerians to support the government of President Tinubu and do our own best to also make sure that Rivers people can be part of the development at the centre and also carry the state along in what we are doing.”
Abe who also addressed concerns about potential power struggles within the party, dismissed that his defection would create political unrest in the APC in the state, adding that he maintained a cordial relationship with the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the APC in Rivers State, Tony Okocha.
“I believe that the responsibility of engendering peace in the party is that of all of us who are members of the party, regardless of whatever positions we hold or we don’t hold.
“Tony Okocha has been a member of our team as everybody knows. And if today he’s the Chairman of the party, by the decision of the national, so be it.
“But we’re not in the APC because of any particular individual. We are in the APC because we are founding members of this party, and we’re grassroots supporters of the president.
“And we believe that it is proper that we are in the party to continue to give that full support to the president’s developmental agenda.
“Tony Okocha has been part of our team, he has been part of the APC in this state from its founding till today.
“By now everybody who is part of the APC should have learnt a thing as to how to make the party work.
“So, we’re coming in open-minded, ready to work with everybody within the party.
“I believe that anybody who is sincerely interested in the progress of the APC should be ready to make the party work for everybody.
The former lawmaker who represented Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the Senate, defected to the SDP followed the disagreement between him and the former Governor of the State, Rotimi Amaechi, following his failure to clinch the APC ticket.
However, Abe later emerged as the governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2023 election but lost the election to Governor Siminalaye Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party.