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Rivers govt withdraws approval for PDP presidential campaign venue



The Rivers State government has withdrawn the approval given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use a facility in the state for its presidential campaign rally.

The state government had last month given the party the go-ahead to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt for its presidential campaign rally slated for February 11.

The state’s Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, confirmed the withdrawal of the approval in a letter dated January 31, 2023, and addressed to the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter was made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He said the decision followed the discovery of a plan by the PDP campaign council in the state to share the facility with a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Tonye Cole.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, is a key member of the G-5 group pushing for the resignation of the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

Wike and other governors – Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuayi (Enugu) – had listed Ayu’s resignation from the position as a pre-condition for their support of Abubakar in this month’s election.

READ ALSO: Wike approves use of stadium for Atiku’s rally with caveat

The letter read: “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.“

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