The Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, Dr Abiye Sekibo, has alleged that the policemen attached to Governor Nyesom Wike shot at his vehicle several times in the midnight of Thursday.

Sekibo said he was attacked when he visited the proposed venue for the party’s presidential campaign at Rainbow town, near Amadi-Ama in Port Harcourt, after receiving a call that their equipment were set on fire.

The former Minister of Transport while briefing newsmen at his residence in Port Harcourt on Friday said the venue of the proposed rally had been barricaded by policemen.

Our correspondent reported that Sekibo’s Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle had several bullet holes on both sides of the back seat, cracked windscreen and shattered tyres.

The state PDP PCC DG stated, “At about 11:30pm to 12 am on Thursday, I received a call. The caller said the equipment at the site that was being prepared for the PDP presidential rally were on fire. I went with three policemen to go and see what was happening.

“As we approached the venue, we saw a line-up of police Hilux vehicles on the right side of the road and the policemen were looking at the fire. As we approached them, I told my driver to stop so that I can talk to the policeman. The next thing they opened fire on my vehicle.

“They kept shooting at the vehicle, so we drove off and we were shot at from all sides. I looked at those vehicles and they were police Hilux vehicles attached to the governor of Rivers State. When we got to a filling station, the police vehicles, five in number, drove past us, heading towards Ada George. This is what our state has been reduced to.”

Sekibo and Wike

Wike had reapproved the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for the presidential campaign rally after withdrawing his initial approval. It was learnt that the campaign council did not have confidence in the fresh approval and opted for a different venue, which came under attack on Thursday midnight.

Sekibo said, “The site was being prepared but this governor, who said he was giving us the stadium to use, cannot stand us preparing another site for a rally he doesn’t want us to hold. He sent policemen attached to him to go and destroy the equipment at the place. He has barricaded the place with government house police to make sure that the media doesn’t go to the site to video the equipment that are on fire.

He called on the Inspector-General of Police to caution the policemen attached to the governor.

“They want anarchy in Rivers State; they have attacked supporters of Atiku Abubakar over and over and we have been complaining to the law enforcement agencies. We have written to the police and have done everything we can. I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to please caution the governor of Rivers State.”

He stressed that the PCC in the state would not be cowed and that they remained firmly in support of Atiku.

Reacting to the incident, the state chapter of the PDP said the attack was stage-managed and queried why Sekibo would leave his house at midnight to visit a facility alleged to be under attack.

The Director of Publicity, Rivers PDP Campaign Council, Ogbonna Nwuke, noted that this was part of the reasons why the PCC rejected the stadium approved by the governor for their campaign.

Nwuke added, “Dr Sekibo wants to deceive members of the public by claiming that he was attacked on Thursday night. I drove past the proposed venue and if you go you will find loads of white sand, the gate is open and what you have inside that place is plantain and overgrown weed.

“What this means is that nobody set anything on fire. Why did they not take the press to the venue which was allegedly set on fire? The car he said was damaged was in a private property. If it was under intense fire, did they go back that night to take the car? These things are just a script written by a non-professional and acted by very poor actors. What they have done is consistent with their plan.”

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed that there was an attack, saying the perpetrators were thugs.

Iringe-Koko, in a statement said the police immediately responded to the distress call, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, had ordered a full scale investigation into the incident.

The statement read, “There was a distress call to the control room at about 2am on Friday, February 10, 2023, that Dr Abiye Sekibo was attacked by suspected thugs along Intel in the Rainbow axis of Port-Harcourt. On the basis of the call, six patrol teams were immediately mobilised to the scene. By the time the teams arrived, the suspected thugs had fled.

“Nonetheless, the teams remained to forestall further destruction. Meanwhile, normalcy has returned, and the Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation into the incident.”

Wike responds

But speaking at the campaign rally in Alode Town, Eleme on Friday, the governor accused members of the PCC of leading thugs to an unapproved government property.

He stated, “There is no sentiment. They said they want to hold a rally. I said okay, go and take Adokiye Amiesimaka. Last night (Thursday), some of these armed robbers in the state thought that we won’t know. Abiye Sekibo led thugs around 12am to go to Trans Amadi, the land that belongs to Rivers State and with Lee Maeba, brought bulldozers to start grading the place, that is where they want to use for the presidential rally.”

Governor Wike said the PCC was afraid of using the stadium because they do not have the capacity to mobilise the crowd for the venue.

He added, “I said no, go back to the stadium. You said you want a stadium, you said you have people, then you must go there. You will not hold a presidential rally in another place. You must take the stadium. So, they escaped me last night (Thursday). Of course, I have to chase them away. They ran away before I came.

“There are people that if you see their hand, it is blood. They want us to go into violence. We will not go into violence. We will never stain our hands with blood.”

Meanwhile, has reacted to the gaffe by the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, in Kano on Thursday when he said PDP brought shame to the country. Wike described it as the height of anti-party.

He stated, “He (Ayu) said they will not allow PDP to be in power. Is that a good chairman? Is that not anti-party? Is the chairman not doing anti-party? Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. For us in Rivers State, our party is a good party that has done Rivers State well.”

He again faulted the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, while asking the people of the state to vote for the party’s governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara. He acknowledged Eleme as the hub of shipping, oil and gas businesses in the state.

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