Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has cancelled the approval given to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar to use the Adokye Amiesimaka Stadium for his campaign on February 11.
In a letter with reference No. MOS/C/409/S.49/T/15 of 11 January, 2023 signed by Christopher Green, Rivers State Commissioner for Sports cited “credible intelligence” that the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led by Tonye Patrick Cole were working in collaboration to share the approved facility for their campaign.
The letter further alleged that the “government records showed 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 (Explosion rocks APC Campaign in Rivers-Thisdaylive.com, 20 January, 2023, see also Punch Newspaper of 26″ May, 2022”.
The government said it would not risk any damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which will definitely be exposed to.
“In this 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decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn,” the letter said.
Recall that Wike had vowed that his government would pay back with “remarkable scars” on the national leadership of the PDP led by Senator Iyorchia Ayu, which unilaterally ordered the lawyers hired by the state government to hands off the prosecution of opposition parties in courts
Observers strongly believe that the cancellation of the use of the stadium was one of the series of retaliatory measures to ensure that Atiku loses the presidential election, including protest votes in Rivers State against him.