Posted by News Express | 17 April 2020 | 421 times
Former representative of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has appealed to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to explore back-channel lines of communication to settle political scores with the Federal Government instead of being confrontational.
Abe made the appeal in a statement posted on his Facebook page titled: ‘COVID-19, Abe Appeals to Rivers State Government to Explore Back-Channel Lines of Communication.’
He stated that his decision to passionately make the appeal is in the interest of Rivers people as the confrontational approach of the state government will only open the flood gates for conflict entrepreneurs who will use the opportunity of the conflict to further their political and economic nest, to the detriment of the state.
The Senator said the conflict will not in any way help the majority of Rivers people in the fight against the Coronavirus as it is not the time to settle issues of supremacy between elected and unelected functionaries of government.
Abe, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson, said: “I want to use this opportunity to publicly appeal to the Rivers State government to immediately seek and secure back-channel lines of communication, and resolve any outstanding issues with the federal government through dialogue.
“Wisdom is not weakness, it is one thing to have a political dispute with an individual whose attitude and conduct, a lot of people may not approve of, but it is a different matter for sub-national entity like Rivers State to challenge the sovereignty of Nigeria at this time when we should all be working together to combat an unseen but deadly enemy.
“I had earlier stated my determination not to be a party to any action that will politicize our ability to confront the coronavirus pandemic as a people and I maintain that position.
“However, in the light of the spiraling controversies, escalating issues between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, I want to use this opportunity to publicly appeal to the Rivers State Government to immediately seek and secure back-channel lines of communication, and resolve any outstanding issues with the federal government through dialogue.
“After all, the constitution gives power to both the elected and unelected officials of government and the Supreme Court of Nigeria is there, which has the ultimate power to decide issues in the country. They are made up of unelected officials.”
Abe, Chairman, Senate, Committee on FERMA at the 8th National Assembly, further said: “In the fight against coronavirus what we need is unity and cooperation between all tiers and arms of Government.
“Even sovereign nations cannot win this war alone, we must all work together; to act otherwise at this time will have grave consequences for our dear state.
“I also wish to appeal to the Federal Government on behalf of the people of Rivers State to keep open the opportunity of dialogue and cooperation with all states particularly Rivers State because of its population and strategic importance to our economy. Nigeria cannot afford to be distracted by politics at this time.
“This is because, the greatest danger facing the states at this time is not the risk from approved international travelers who can be easily tracked and monitored, it is the risk of community spread and interstate commuters most of whom are neither documented nor can they be tracked.
“Therefore, the solution to this danger is for states to establish accredited test centers and take steps to document interstate travelers for tracking purposes.”
Meanwhile, Senator Abe has condoled President Muhammadu Buhari over the demise of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.
He stated that the unfortunate demise of the Chief of Staff should act as a clear reminder that, “we cannot afford to fiddle while Rome burns,” adding: “Let us put aside all differences and work together to defeat this pandemic. Once our country is safe from danger we can all safely go back to politics.”
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