Ogoni Senator Gives ‘Perfect’ Explanation For Secessionist Agitation During Senate Debate In 2017

Magnus Abe was the senator representing the South-east zone of Rivers State when he spoke on the imperative of a united Nigeria during a debate on June 14, 2017.


He did not read a speech but spoke from the heart on why youths are agitating for secession and what Nigeria must do to remain one country.

When the then senate president, Bukola Saraki, recognized him to make his contribution, he stood and said:

“Mr. President, my name is Senator Magnus Abe representing the people of Rivers South East.

We have a union, Mr President, and that union is not perfect. We can make it better.

There is no nation on earth that becomes a great nation merely by circumstance or by chance. Great nations are built by the sufferings and sacrifices of the citizens. The question that we must ask ourselves is, how hard are we trying to build Nigeria into a great nation?


In everything we do, our diversity is our greatest challenge, but it’s also our greatest strength. What are we doing as a people to harness that diversity into our core strength instead of becoming a challenge that overtakes the whole nation?

Mr. President, I will also want to point out that those who assume that if they have their own little block of Nigeria that they will be happy in that tiny enclave should look at the history of other countries that have broken apart. There was no peace in Sudan, it divided into southern Sudan and Sudan. Today, there is no peace in Sudan, there is no peace in Southern Sudan. There was no peace in Ethiopia, they now had Eritrea. Today, there is still no peace in Eritrea.

The problem with Nigeria is not with the rivers, it’s not our mountains, it is the people of Nigeria. What are we doing to make sure that as a people, we can come together and build a strong, virile, prosperous, just and fair nation that provides for all Nigerians?

The problem today in Nigeria Mr. President, is that if you have a problem and you are talking quietly and peacefully, nobody listens to you unless you begin to blow up things and make trouble. That is why you see every section of this country, people are trying to show their capacity to self-destruct, as if that in anyway helps in improving their lots.

We must as a country begin to listen to people when they are not creating problems. That is part of what we are not doing. I am from Rivers State, I am from Ogoni. My own people have been agitating for years, but our agitation has always been peaceful. It’s time that we give the peaceful agitators some attention, so that everybody does not have to create problems before we can discuss their issues in this country.


I want to thank all those that have supported this motion, but to say that more important than what we say here in the Senate is what we do in our different constituencies and states; it’s what we do to give all Nigerians a sense of belonging. I think that is a foundation on which a stronger, more prosperous and more successful union of all Nigerians will be based.

I condemn in very very clear terms, any action, by any group, or section of the country that tends to limit the rights of other Nigerians whether in that their own section of the country, or in any other section of the country. No Nigerian, whether from the South-East, or from the North, or from the West, or from the south-south should be allowed to do anything that threatens the right of other Nigerians to live peacefully in every part of this country.

That is where we should stand as a nation, and that is where I stand as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you.”


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