Today, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, and Katsina are the top five states in terms of the number of voters who have registered to vote. Four of these states are firmly under the control of the ruling APC, while the PDP, which currently holds power in Rivers State, is in a precarious position as a result of a disagreement between Governor Nyesom Wike and the party’s NWC.
Because of its uniqueness and sensitivity, the Rivers State gubernatorial election will undoubtedly garner a lot of attention from Nigerians. Recent outings by the SDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, SMA, has piqued the interest of Nigerians from all six geopolitical regions due to the large crowds in attendance that are always intimidating.
We are aware that political crowds cannot simply be defined as a candidate’s actual popularity because crowds can be bought, and some of the attendees seen at a PDP rally can also be seen at an APC rally due to a variety of factors; however, it is not difficult to spot an organic crowd.
A money-driven crowd always acts aggressively; there must be disagreement over the distribution of funds, and those who did not receive the same amount would publicly protest, usually resulting in ignominy.
For example, at the time of writing this report, a very shameful and troubling piece of news was making the rounds that a PDP zonal meeting held in Enugu yesterday ended in a fiasco, people beat up the zonal Chairman, Senatorial Candidate, and House of Assembly candidates because they didn’t provide enough money for sharing.
So, there are fake crowds in reality, but they have consequences.
SMA, a former Senator for Rivers South-East Senatorial District in Rivers State, Nigeria, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to mobilizing people for whatever cause he believes in. His rallies, whether for his gubernatorial campaign or to support the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has always recorded a massive crowd and this can not be divorced from his credibility which is top-notch.
At the age of 34, Magnus Abe was elected to the Rivers State House of Assembly to represent the Gokana Constituency. Given that he was a member of the opposition ANPP party at the time, he rose to the position of minority leader. He joined the PDP in 2003 and was given the position of information commissioner by the Dr. Peter Odili-led administration. SMA has over time proved his popularity amongst his people.
He was one of the few who supported Rotimi Amaechi in his struggles against Celestine Omehia. Known as the “three musketeers” at the time, Chibuke Amaechi, Magnus Abe, and Nyesom Wike all came from the same political camp, fought for the same political causes, but are now split along different political lines.
Magnus Abe is definitely riding on his goodwill toward his race to the Brick House, his generosity and humanitarian activities over the years have earned him a kind of street credibility that has never been witnessed in Rivers State’s history, everyday his followership keeps soaring higher that Rivers State is beginning to see his stewardship as a reality.
As one of the party’s founding members in the State, there has always been general agreement that Magnus Abe deserves to be the party’s candidate on a number of occasions, but Rotimi Amaechi’s desire to unilaterally impose his candidates on the party has hindered his chances of receiving the APC nomination.
Only a political lilliputian would underestimate the massive crowds that surround Senator Magnus Abe wherever he goes. He is currently riding the tide of the golden fish, which cannot be hidden, especially since the PDP Guber candidate has credibility issues and the APC Guber candidate, Tonye Cole, is seen as a stooge to Amaechi, who has lost trust in Rivers electorate.
His chances of winning the Rivers State Governorship election are excellent and are consistent with the proverb that “preparation meets opportunity.”