Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has granted approval for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar to stage his campaign rally in the state.
This was sequel to a letter requesting granting of approval for use of venue made to the state government by the party.
It has been feared that Atiku and his party may not stage campaign rallies in the state following toxic stand-off between the state governor and the presidential candidate following leadership crisis tearing the party apart.
Wike, the arrowhead of the opposition in the party called the G-5 governors has been persistent in his call for the resignation of the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu.
He led the group to boycott the PDP presidential campaign until Ayu resigns.
He has also been accused of hounding Atiku supporters in the state and preventing the party and members from staging any campaign rally.
The govenor also enacted Order 21 which forbids all candidates of political parties from staging campaign rallies in homes and other unauthorised places. Such candidates are also required to apply for approval before embarking on any rally.
But the PDP revealed on Thursday that it has received approval from the state government for it to stage its campaign rallies contrary to earlier fears that the governor’s public disclosure that he would announce the candidate that his group would support was a call to stop Atiku from campaigning in the state.
In a statement issued by Ogbonna Nwuke, the Chairman of Publicity and Communications Committee of Rivers PDP Campaign Council, he said the state government acknowledged receipt of payment of N95 million in a letter of approval granted by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Chinedum Mmom, was in compliance with the precautionary requirement of N5 million per public venue stipulated in Governor’s Executive Order 21.
Quoting the approval letter from Mmom, he said the commissioner wrote, “I hereby acknowledge receipt of your deposit of N95,000,000 into the State Government’s account, being the required precautionary deposit for the use of your indicated public schools’ facilities in Rivers State.
“Sequel to your compliance with the directive as contained in our letter dated 6th December 2022, I hereby convey to you my approval of your request for the use of state-owned schools’ facilities as indicated in the annexure to your application.”
Nwuke explained that, “Prior to this time, we have publicly indicated that as a responsible political party, PDP shall comply with the dictates of Executive Order 21.
“Now that we have received appropriate authorization, following full compliance with the order, we are prepared to commence open air campaigns in Rivers State.
“We have shown proof we, PDP is not above the law. While thanking Rivers people for their undying support for our great party, we assure them that our candidates will fulfill promises made to the electorate.
“Governor Nyesom Wike has met, and gone ahead to surpass, promises made to the people to pursue a clear vision that is transforming the State into the home of infrastructure.
Siminalayi Fubara and all our candidates will consolidate on the dividends of democracy that are being delivered by the PDP. This is our pledge to the masses,” he stated.