THE Rivers State government has warned the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against disobeying a court order which sealed its campaign office in Port Harcourt.
The ICIR had reported how Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, shut down the Atiku/Okowa campaign office in Port Harcourt barely two months to the 2023 polls using Executive Orders 21 and 22.
“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,” Wike’s spokesperson, Kelvin Ebiri, had said in a statement released to explain the development.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, December 26, River State Commissioner for Information, Alagbo Chris Finebone, warned that the campaign team of the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would pay a “heavy price” if it disobeys the court order.
Finebone also said dragging the name of the governor, Wike, into the issue of revocation of the certificate of occupancy “is absolutely pointless” and will not change the status quo.
“They know that if they have acted in disobedient of the order of court, they will pay a heavy price. Dragging the name of the governor into their self-inflicted misfortune is absolutely pointless.
“They should know that the court or judiciary is outside the control of the governor but operate independently.
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“Predicting the consequences of their indiscretion with a view to scuttling it and diverting attention has become obsolete tactic,” he said.
Meanwhile, suspected thugs in the early hours of Monday, December 26, vandalised the secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Nonwa, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Witnesses said the yet-to-be-identified thugs invaded the secretariat in the early hours of Monday and pulled down the rostrum, destroyed chairs and the billboards of Senator Magnus Abe, the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
A statement released by Abe’s spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson, said “several attacks and threats to life and property of the SDP governorship candidate would not deter him from campaigning in Tai and other local government areas of the state”.
The statement called on the state Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to investigate the incident, and bring an end to escalating political violence in the state.
Spokesperson of the Rivers State Police Command Grace Iringe Koko could not be reached for comment as of filing this report.
Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]