Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr.

Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr.

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Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr. 

By Fatai Ibrahim

“A legal practitioner lives for the direction and welfare of his people, as well as advancing the cause of his country’’ Sapara William, the first indigenous lawyer in Nigeria.

Senator Magnus Ngie Abe, former Commissioner in Rivers State, Secretary to the Rivers State Government. The distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria represented Rivers East Senatorial District in the Red Chamber. A staunch and pioneer member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he was one of the leading gubernatorial candidates of the APC) in the last gubernatorial election in Rivers State with a large followership across board.

Dr. Rohilala Mandela, former South African President once posited in his paper he presented at the University of Wit Water Strand in South Africa in 2003 that: “Education is the greatest weapon we can use to change the world.”

Senator Abe’s antecedents and pedigree as a sophisticated and very enlightened person is globally known as an apostle of peace whose quest for social justice, equal rights and equity for all, are anchored on strict observance of rule of law, constitutionalism and due process.

 

Abe as a man of peace, has equipped himself with the ideals of Mahatma Gandi, the father of modern day India which are non-violence approach to resolving issues  as well as the lofty and non-violence approach to conflict resolution through peaceful means.

Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr.

As in the words of former President of America, President Ronald Reagan who once asserted: “Peace is not the absence of conflict but it is the ability to resolve conflict by peaceful means,” if you want to fight a people you have to first and foremost know their history.

Dr. Martin Luther King who was a global iconoclast on peace, understudied the entire work of Mahatma Ghandi, the father of modern day India, which is non-violence approach to resolving conflict, replicating same in his struggle for the emancipation of the black race from racism and man’s inhumanity to man prevalent in the then American society.

Luther King Jr. having studied the history of American people and knowing fully well that 99 per cent of the American people are educated and as educated people are easy to govern, but difficult to enslave hence, I have a dream gospel for equal rights, civil liberty as well as the attainment of an equalitarian society led to the emergence of the first African American President in the person of Barrack Obama.

Senator Abe, whose calling as a lawyer of repute is to uphold and observe the rule of law and foster the cause of justice as encapsulated in the rules of professional conduct LFN 2014, is abreast with the spirit and letters of the Nigerian’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as well as the provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948, on what it takes to assert his rights within the law as posited by Marcus Cullius Cicero when he said: “Freedom is a man’s natural power of doing what he pleases to do, so far as he is not prevented by law from doing so.”

Mahatma Ghandi said: “I have nothing new to teach the world, truth and non-violence are as old as the Hills” in his autobiography, the Story of My Experiments With the Truth.” Senator Abe’s intellectual prowess and sagacity have prepared him for the life of struggle, for a better society and as a refined scholar whose tenacity and commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of his people, the Ogonis and Rivers State as a whole, are quite remarkable.

The influence of Mahatma Ghandi on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired by Ghandi’s success with non-violence activism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Ghandi Family in India in 1959. This trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding on non-violent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights “since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of non-violent resistance is the potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Interestingly, Senator Magnus Ngie Abe’s various peace initiatives for a better society are quite legendary and commendable. All those interested in peace building should work with him for an enduring and sustainable peace in Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole.

Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr.

As pointedly elucidated by the great author, Dr. Mike Mudok, who said: “The seeds of progress grow best in soul of peace. Oputa J.S (of blessed memory), opines in his book, Selected Speeches and Reflections edited by Prof. Remy M. Onyewunyi in page 170 said: “If you want peace, work for peace; if you want justice work for justice. We have to give peace an ingredient of justice and justice an ingredient for peace. It is this balancing process that produces the equilibrium of divergent forces and in turn, leads to social stability-the only ground on which progress can grow.”

Mahatma Ghandi, the father of modern day India in his message to the world on mutual co-existence said: “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong,” while in April 5th 1969, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a rally and delivered his famous speech: “I have been to the mountain top……I have a dream that one day an African American will be the President of the United States of America…………I have a dream that the sons of slaves and those of the slave masters shall do things in common.

King was awarded at least 50 Honorary Degrees from colleges and universities in the U.S and elsewhere. Beside winning the 1964 Noble Peace Prize in 1965, King was also awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee for his exceptional advancement of the principle of human liberty and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his last sermon at Ebeniser Baptist Church in the United States of America was asked what did he want to be remembered for? And he said: “I want to be remembered for clothing the naked, for feeding the poor and for helping someone.”

Sen. Magnus: Nigeria’s Ghandi, Luther King Jr.

Mahatma Ghandi stressing further said: “I look only to the good qualities of men, not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others. As the world prepares for the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day, 15th January, the distinguished Senator Magnus Abe we say, “more grease to your elbows,” as an indefatigable crusader for social justice, rule of law, individual liberty and a shining global icon on peace and tranquility. We hope the younger generations of Africa and the world at large will emulate your tenacity, geared towards a just and egalitarian society.

Ibrahim is an alumnus of the Faculty of Law, University of Abuja and President Intellectuals Without Border (Worldwide).

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