The Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council said on Monday that the planned campaign rally for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Port Harcourt was cancelled in order to avoid loss of lives.
The Chairman, PDP PCC in Rivers State, Senator Lee Maeba, gave the explanation during a media briefing in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Maeba recalled that there had been several attacks against PDP members and Atiku’s supporters in the last three months in the state.
He also claimed that the Rivers State Government had sealed the businesses of prominent members of the party who supported the presidential candidate’s election bid.
He said, “On December 14, 2022, one Rhino Owhohaire, the Youth Director, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council, was shot in his village of Alu in the Ikwerre Local Government Area, and the incident was reported to the police high command, but nothing happened.
“Even when a suspect was arrested, the government of Rivers State, as an interested accomplice, went and took him on bail.
“On February 5, 2023, 31 members of the Atiku Support Group were arrested at their meeting venue at the GRA, Port Harcourt, arraigned and remanded at the correctional centre in Port Harcourt on trumped-up charges of unlawful assembly, conspiracy, and cultism.
“On February 9, 2023, Abiye Sekibo was informed that the venue earmarked for the PDP presidential campaign rally was on fire at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt.
“He (Sekibo) was attacked when he went to verify the accuracy of the information. The attack was carried out by the police attached to the Government House in Port Harcourt.
“Fortunately, he escaped unhurt by the divine providence of God, but his vehicle was fatally damaged by a rain of bullets.”
He said despite previously giving the PDP an approval to use Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium for its presidential rally, Governor Nyesom Wike “cancelled the approval on the flimsy excuse that we wanted to hold a joint rally with APC in Rivers State on the approved date of February 11, 2023, to foment trouble.”
Maeba added, “The governor, using Government House police and other hoodlums, has unleashed unrelenting violence, making the peaceful use of the facility impossible, among other things.
“In light of the above submission, we, the state Campaign Council, in total constructive engagement with the National Presidential Campaign Council, the candidate, and the party, believe that no loss of human life can be tolerated or accepted before, during, or after the rally and have agreed with our principals on the need to shelve and/or cancel the rally to avoid any deaths.”
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