Senator Wilson Ake, a former chairman, Senate committee on Labour and Employment, represented Rivers West senatorial district in the 7th National Assembly. In this interview with GRACE FADASON, he gives his backing to the current chairman of the All Progressives Congress and stresses the need for all meaning Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive in curtailing incessant killings in the country.
Nigerians wake up daily to hear news of gruesome killings in parts of the country. Do you see the government of the day tackling this menace effectively?
I will encourage Mr. President to do more because if you are doing something and the issues are still lingering, it means that there are things that have not been done. Though the killings in some places are difficult to define and may even be politically motivated, Nigerians no matter their partisan, sectional or religious affiliations, should rise up as one to condemn the killings and support Mr. President to secure the lives of the people and do all within his powers to guarantee the security of lives and properties across the country.
What is your take on the emergence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the APC in the recently concluded convention?
The emergence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is one of the greatest things to have happened to the APC as a party in Nigeria and it has been long since we have been expecting that a person of his outstanding profile be encouraged to participate in the chairmanship election in the overall interest of the APC. Indeed he was encouraged to contest by all those that wish the party well that need a new beginning to take the APC to greater heights. He has not only returned unopposed but roundly acclaimed by the vast majority of members at the convention and beyond.
Senator Magnus Abe has urged the APC leadership to address the factional crisis in Rivers state. Do you share the same view?
Absolutely. Senator Magnus Abe is being honest about the need to resolve the problem in Rivers APC. There has been some disagreement and every well meaning APC member wants the issue to be addressed before we go into the 2019 elections. The problem is about internal democracy and everybody should be given an opportunity to aspire for any position of their choice without interference intimidation or imposition. If we all agree that there should be free and fair primaries, the problem will be solved.
Looking at the ward and local government congresses, what is the way forward to annul them or maintain the status quo?
The products and results of those congresses have been voided by the High Court and so they do exist except for the old excos which remain valid. If the reasons that took the people to court are addressed, then we can all come together. As far as injustice remains, there can be no peace except the injustice is addressed. All we are asking for is justice and once it is delivered, the disagreements and divisions will be a thing of the past.
How do you assess the chances of Senator Magnus Abe as the APC gubernatorial aspirant in Rivers state?
Senator Abe’s chances are very bright as he has proven to be an easily saleable candidate. Somebody with a proven track record that you don’t need to convince people to support because he is already tested and trusted. While others are hiding behind the Transportation Minister (Rotimi Amaechi) Senator Magnus Abe is selling himself to the Rivers people as a man of himself and not someone else’s puppet. He has maintained a high level of consistency in his manner, character, capacity and capability to unite the state. Rivers people know him very well unlike other APC aspirants that are unknown and hiding behind other personalities. We believe that Senator Abe has the true attributes of a Rivers man that can unite and develop our state and also project our image in a positive manner, nationally and otherwise.
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