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Wike revokes approval for Atiku to campaign in Port Harcourt stadium

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers has withdrawn a permit earlier issued to the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which sanctioned the use of Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for a campaign rally scheduled for February 11. 

The permission was revoked in a letter addressed to the director general of the PCC, Aminu Tambuwal, by the Rivers state government through its commissioner for youths and sports, Christopher Green. 

Mr Green explained in the letter that the permission was revoked due to a reported synergy between the PCC and a faction of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Tonye Patrick Cole, because of the latter’s antecedent of violence. 

“Credible intelligence available to the Government of Rivers State and recent developments now show that your Presidential Campaign Organization is working in collaboration and in-cahoots with a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State led by Tonye Patrick Cole and that it is the intention of your Presidential Campaign Organization to accommodate and share the approved facility for your campaign with the said faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Government records show that the activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party including shootings and killings in the course of protests arising from the nomination process of delegates for primaries (Sahara Reporters, May 18, 2022) and detonation of explosives in the course of Campaigns (Explosion recks APC Campaign in Rivers –, 20 January, 2023), see also Punch Newspaper of 26* May, 2022,” the letter read. 

Mr Green says the partnership between the said parties would put the facility at risk of serious damage, hence the need to withdraw the permission. 

“The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tone Patrick Cole APC faction will definitely expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn,” he added. 

Mr Wike’s fallout with the standard bearer of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, does not seem to have an end in sight. The outgoing governor has continued to use state resources, when he could, to present serious obstacles in the way of Mr Atiku’s presidential bid. In December 2022, he sealed off the PDP’s campaign office for “noisy” political activities.

Source: Peoples Gazette

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