The Rivers state government yesterday announced the revocation of its approval of Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use for its presidential campaign rally.
Recall that the government had approved the venue for the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, to hold his electioneering slated for February 11.
But in a letter dated January 31 and addressed to the governor of Sokoto State and director general of the PDP presidential campaign council, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, the Rivers State commissioner for sports, Mr. Christopher Green, said the approval had been withdrawn.
The commissioner said the decision was taken based on an alleged plot by the Atiku campaign team in the state to share the facility with a “violent” faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Rivers APC governorship candidate, Mr. Tonye Cole.
“Credible intelligence available to the Government of Rivers State and recent developments now show that your Presidential Campaign Organisation 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 Organisation 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 and detonation of explosives in the course of campaigns.
“The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and prized asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye 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decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn,” the letter stated.
Recall that the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike had at a PDP campaign in Etche local government area accused the national leadership of the party of anti-party activities.
According to him, the party chiefs were working with a faction of the PDP loyal to Cole.
“We have caught them. They are the ones engaged in anti-party. I told them anti-party begets anti party. You know we carried these small parties (APC, SDP) to court for failing to do what the law says.
“The people in Abuja that say they are national have gone to collude with them (opposition parties) to write our lawyers a letter that they should take their hands off, in order to kill the cases we filed. I have told our lawyers to withdraw from the matters. I will hit them back by tomorrow.
“Nobody hurts us without sustaining a scar. Anybody who dares to touch us in Rivers State, I will inflict many scars on him and we have started it. We are voting for our people here. Now you have told us you are doing anti-party. We will show you what anti party is. Already, we have caught them red-handed,” he said.