Highlights

THINKING OF MAGNUS ABE.

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He knows how to turn relationships into an asset when he wants but like a lot of brilliant politicians, he hardly bothers when there is no perceived benefit. I have an award plaque with Magnus Abe’s name emblazoned on it, still hanging on my wall. It was an award from my media house Andy Briggs Report. It was an award given to him on February 2012 for outstanding impact in the Senate. Abe never turned up for the award, nor was he represented. He called me a few days later to explain that he had a policy of not accepting awards. Period. He seemed not to care about the pain, anxiety, prayer and expense that had gone into staging the awards. I would have felt a lot better about it, if he had sent me some dosh in appreciation. But in 2015 when in support of his guber aspiration, I wrote the story ‘Abe is Wike’s Anti-Dote’. He was so pleased with the story that he sent me a thank you message and yes, some dosh. That went down well.
Magnus Abe is a man that one can proudly number amongst his friends. He will not disappoint one in a gathering of intellectuals. He dresses simply but with enlightenment. He is very friendly but guarded. He is hardly a man known for gaffes and blunders. He does not need to be patronised. Those around him may rather need to be constantly improving on their game to keep up. Perhaps Abe might have taken the easy way up in his career. There is no doubt in my mind that if he had devoted all these years to the law practice, he would be one of the most brilliant lawyers around. Instead, he got caught up in the political whirl and alliance that has brought him thus far like a whirl pool that drives a substance to the surface but will not toss it out, rooting it to the vortex. Magnus Abe’s intelligence has at once set him above his peers and endangered his advance to the governorship.
Political godfathers rarely install successors who are probably smarter than they are. It defeats the purpose. The same skills which made Abe the most repected of political operatives in the camp of Governor Rotimi Amaechi have perhaps made him unsuitable to be Amaechi’s choice for the guber. It is not a secret tha barring a miraculous conversion, Rotimi Amaechi who controls the Rivers APC machinery with all its imperfections will be backing anybody but Magnus Abe at the party guber primaries. While some well known Abe stalwarts have been whipping up a bit of Abemania in the social media, one can not help feeling sometimes that they are stuck in the wrong campaign for the season. Spinning the senator into an Ogoni icon or incessant declarations of hero worship is hardly the strategy to win over the majority of delegates expected to sit tight in the camp of the minister for transport. This is the major obstacle blocking Abe’s path to the Rivers APC Governorship ticket. The friendship that has lately flourished between the Abe and Wike camp can hardly endear Abe to many of Amaechi’s loyalists and some of these people are needed to support him, if he hopes to become the APC Governorship candidate. So how does Abe plan to win this? It can certainly not be by making Amaechi mad. Perhaps, the Abe camp is matching towards an open confrontation with the Amaechi camp to get the party leaders at the national level to intervene. The Abe hope of victory would lie in breaking Amarchi’s hold on the Rivers APC. Would the President brook such a development? Will it make or mar Abe’s guber aspiration and indeed his place in the APC? This improved friendship with Wike; could it be a contingency?

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