Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has withdrawn the approval he had earlier granted Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the use of the state owned Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt for his February 11 scheduled presidential rally.
In a letter addressed to Aminu Tambuwal the governor of Sokoto State who is also the director-general of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and signed by the Commissioner of Sports, Barrister Christopher Green, the Rivers State government said the state is in possession of credible intelligence of plans by the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation “to work in collaboration and in co-hoots with the faction of the All Progressives Congress led by Tonye Patrick Cole, with the intention of the PDP PCO to accommodate and share the approved facility for PDP campaign rally and the said faction of the APC,” the statement said.
“Government records show that the activities of the APC in Rivers State have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party including shooting and killings in the course of protests arising from the nomination process of delegates for primaries and detonation of explosives in the course of campaigns.
“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decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn,” the letter concluded.
About a week ago, Wike had threatened to cancel the approval for the use of the stadium for PDP campaign, saying that the Director-General of the PDP PCC in the state, Abiye Sekibo, had been accessing the venue a month before the February 11 date contrary to the earlier agreement that the PDP will be allowed access to the venue 48 hours to the scheduled date.
Wike had said that the approval for the use of the stadium was granted at no cost to the party.
Wike had warned Sekibo not to provoke the State government by desperately wanting to take possession of the stadium weeks to the campaign, or else the approval would be cancelled.