The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, has said but for Godâ€™s intervention, the police-supported political crisis that rocked Rivers State would have degenerated to the dark days of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
He stated this during a special thanksgiving service in honour of his family for Godâ€™s protection and mercies at the Chapel of Annunciation, University of Port Harcourt.
Abe traced the crisis that enveloped the Niger Delta region in the past to bad policing.
â€œIf you have been in this state a couple of months ago, you could feel the tension in the air. Every day, there is one story about one crisis or the other. All those issues were security related; if the situation had continued, it would have been a matter of time, for blood to flow on the streets of Rivers State.
â€œWhat happened in Khana, where people walked openly with AK-47 on the streets of Bori, shooting and setting things on fire; with the police at 200 metres away was just an eye-opener. People called the police, but the police said they had instructions from the then commissioner not to intervene even if people were dying.â€
Abe, who represents Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, said Rivers people, irrespective of their political affiliations need to give thanks to God for saving the state from an impending crisis.
â€œEverybody in Rivers State needs to thank God. Thanksgiving is not only for me, my family and my friends, but the entire state, whether you are a member of Save Rivers Movement or GDI; whether you are APC or PDP; whatever your affiliation is, we all need to thank God for the peace today,â€ he said.
While saying, he has forgiven those who offended him; the senator appealed to those he had offended in one way or the other to find a place in their hearts to forgive him, noting that without justice, there canâ€™t be peace. â€œWhatever we do, however we do it, let us make sure that no blood is shed. Abuse me, say what you like; if I am angry, I will abuse you back, but anybody who shed innocent blood will answer for itâ€. That is justice and it has nothing to do with forgiveness.â€
Speaking in an interview with newsmen later, wife of the senator, Mrs. Bariyaah Abe, a magistrate in the Rivers State Judiciary, who recently graduated from Coventry University, UK with LLM degree, said with the completion of the programme, she hopes to contribute more to the judicial system.
Earlier in his sermon, a Catholic cleric, Rev. Fr. Chris Ejezu, called on Nigerians to learn how to forgive each other and imbibe the culture of reconciliation.