The Rivers state government has revoked its approval of Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use for its presidential campaign rally.
The Rivers government had approved the venue for Atiku Abubakar, standard-bearer of the PDP, to use for his campaign rally scheduled to hold on February 11.
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But in a letter dated January 31 and addressed to Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto and director-general of the PDP presidential campaign council, Christopher Green, Rivers commissioner for sports, said the approval has been withdrawn.
Green said the decision was taken over an alleged plot by the campaign to share the venue with a “violent” faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Tonye Cole, the Rivers APC governorship candidate.
“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-cohoots 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),” the letter reads.
“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decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.“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 development comes days after Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, said he will cancel the approval given for the use of the facility if it is accessed before the approved hour.
This development also comes amid a crisis in the PDP over the position taken by stakeholders, including five governors.
Wike and his allies — including Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu — have excluded themselves from the party’s presidential campaign over calls for Iyorchia Ayu to step down as its national chairman.
The calls for Ayu’s resignation, according to the group, are based on the grounds that the Abubakar and the national chairman cannot be from the same region.
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.