The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said he is no longer interested in using the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium, Igwurita-Ali, Port Harcourt, for its presidential campaign rally in Rivers State.
The Atiku campaign council lambasted Governor Nyesom Wike, saying the governor could not be trusted, adding that “he wrote to us formally cancelling the approval. We also expect Governor Wike to write and not just stand on a podium during campaign and make statements that depict a very high-level of instability.”
The rejection followed volte-face of Wike, which had earlier withdrawn the approval to use the stadium.
SaharaReporters reported on February 1, 2023 that Governor Wike’s administration had withdrawn the initial approval of February 11.
It had been reported that the Rivers State sports commissioner, Chris Green, in a circular issued on January 31, explained that the decision was taken because of their discovery that the PDP was in alliance with some members of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
The statement reads: “Refer to our letter reference no. MOS/C/409/5.49/T/15 of 11th January, 2023 approving the use of the Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium for your Presidential Campaign Rally scheduled to hold on the 11th day of February, 2023.
“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),” the statement partly read.
However, on Tuesday Wike announced at a campaign that the government had re-issued the approval for the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party to use the stadium to host its presidential campaign rally.
Reacting to the new approval during a radio programme, spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, said the Council could not take Governor Wike by his words.
Nwibubasa said “We are aware that yesterday he announced that the stadium has been restored and that he has rescinded his decision.
“But let me state this very clearly, the Presidential Campaign Council of Atiku Abubakar is not interested in Governor Wike’s Greek gift.
“The said stadium that he revoked for reasons that he gave based on intelligence. May I ask, has he reversed those intelligence reports?
“Is the Presidential Campaign Council not colluding with the APC to hold a joint rally in the same stadium? Are there no security reports that show that there had been violence?
“How did Governor Wike come with his reason that there will be violence for which he earlier revoked the stadium?”
He said for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to use the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium, Governor Wike must first write to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP, the same way he did while revoking the approval.
“He wrote to us formally cancelling the approval. We also expect Governor Wike to write and not just standing on a podium during campaign and making statements that depict a very high-level of instability. At this point, Rivers people should be aware that they have an unstable leader.”