The intra-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) squabbles that birthed the Integrity group also known as G5 led by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike against the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar came to a head yesterday as the governor sealed the Atiku campaign office in Port Harcourt using a court order.
According to Wike’s Spokesman, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, the sealing of the campaign office was in line with the directive of his principal that campaign offices should not be located in residential areas.
Ebiri explained that Executive Order 22 of the state prohibited siting campaign offices in residential areas and that to ensure the rule of law was followed, the government approached a court which ordered the facility to be sealed for fouling the Executive Order
“The Rivers State Executive Order 22 prohibits the location of a political campaign office in a residential area. It was the court that ordered the place to be sealed up.
“The Rivers State government approached a court which ordered that the place should be sealed up,” Ebiri said.
Since the national convention of the party to choose a presidential candidate where Atiku defeated Wike to clinch the ticket, there has been no love lost between the duo with Wike staying on in the party and giving conditions for reconciliation.
Wike who has been operating with Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and their Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde had insisted that the National Chairman of the Party, Iyorchia Ayu must resign to pave way for a Southern candidate for the position, insisting that the north had too many important positions in the party which sidelined the South.
The group which had met all over the world and holding on to their grouses without let have refused to be placated except Ayu was removed.
Atiku on his part has also held on to Ayu but insisted that he has severally met Wike with a view to resolving the impasse without success.
Prior to the sealing of the office, some supporters of Atiku had cried out that they and their interests had become targets of the governor. Things deteriorated to the extent that an attack on Lee Meaba’s house, the arrowhead of Atiku supporters in Rivers State saw cars damaged in an early morning invasion.
Meaba fingered Wike in the attack claiming that the invaders wanted to kill him but Wike yesterday shortly before sealing the office had denied knowledge of or having a hand in the said attack.
He said shortly before inaugurating a dual carriage way in Bori that there was no need for such and that he never contemplated an attack on Meaba as it was not necessary, with Meaba not constituting any obstacle to his political interests.
Reacting to the development, one of the spokespersons for Atiku Campaign Organisation, Mr. Charles Aniagwu condemned the sealing of the office, dismissing it as an infringement on the rights of the people to freedom of choice and hoped the decision would be reversed.