Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has explained the reason why his government cancelled the approval granted to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, from using the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for his campaign rally.
Wike said the decision to cancelled the approved venue for Atiku’s rally was to safeguard the facility from vandalism.
The governor described the claim that the Rivers government did not want PDP Presidential Campaign Council to campaign in the state as erroneous, as he recalled that the government earlier gave approval to the party to use the stadium at no cost.
He stated these while speaking at the Rivers PDP campaign in Degema, Degema Local Government Area yesterday.
Wike said: “Don’t say we stopped them from holding their rally; we didn’t. They applied to me and I gave (Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium) to them. They now went back and began to meet with the faction of the opposition, and you know that the opposition has never held any rally without violence.
“And I said I cannot joke with Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium. Since we have this intelligence we will not allow it. Did anybody force us to give them before? Are we not the ones who gave them? Did they pay money? Go and see the place. I know they are happy because they know there is no way they can fill that stadium. Instead of them to say thank God for covering our shame.”
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has been accused of supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the forthcoming election.
In a letter dated February 1, Atiku’s camp said the Rivers State governor had already directed all local government chairmen, his aides and party executive members to deliver Tinubu at the poll. The letter addressed to Wike and signed by the Director of State Campaign Management Committee, Rivers State chapter, Dr Abiye Sekibo, was in reaction to the reason given by the governor for cancelling an approval he gave to the council to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for Atiku’s campaign.
Sekibo accused Wike of trying to frustrate and stop the PDP candidate from emerging as the next president of Nigeria.
He also said Wike’s involvement in the activities of the G-5 was the height of anti-party and wondered why the governor would in turn accuse them of working with a faction of the APC in the state.
Sekibo denied the claim by the governor that the council was working in collaboration with a faction of the APC led by Tonye Patrick Cole to share the approved facility with the APC.
Addressing the governor, Sekibo said: “We completely sent your assertion as patently false and perverse and we believe that our highly respected security agencies cannot furnish you with such untrue and unfounded lies.”