Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the sealing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign office in the state.
The Rivers State Atiku/Okowa campaign office, located at the GRA axis in Port Harcourt, was sealed on Friday, December 23, 2022, based on Executive Orders 21 and 22.
Explaining why it took the action, the state government said the office was producing noisy political activities in residential areas without approval from the right authorities.
Recall that Wike had earlier signed two executive orders, which among others, prohibited the use of buildings in residential areas for political activities without the express approval of the state government.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers faulted the state government‘s action, describing it as anti-democratic and a violation of free expression.
The PCC accused the Rivers government of frustrating its efforts to get approval to use the office premises for its political activities.
In a statement by the media team of the council on Friday, it explained that the written application sent to the stategovernment had been ignored for months until the venue was sealed on Friday.
PDP statement read: “The public is hereby informed that the sealed premises had no bill board or poster, since theapproval had not been given, yet it was sealed off, a sign that the delay in the approval is premeditated and computed to cause this sort of unlawfulness.
“We condemn this act because it rubs off on our fundamental right to free expression of interest.
Furthermore, this egregious move by the Rivers State Government, seen in the prism of politics, tends to militarise our democracy and renders our dear state politically recessive when juxtaposed with other states in the country.
“We urge our dear leaders in the state to challenge this illegality in a court of competent jurisdiction so that friction can disappear from our political space.
“The right to campaign for preferred candidate is enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria, which is the grand norm from which every other law derives its power.
“Thus, every clash between the Constitution and any other made law should be resolved in favour of the Constitution. The Rivers State Government, we dare say, is subject to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).
It is our duty to remind Gov. Wike and his co-travelers that they, like everyone else, are subject to the Laws of Nigeria.
“Meanwhile we charge the Rivers State PDP PCC, our dear leaders, to see to it that this unlawful disruption of campaign activities does not rattle their cage. They must continue to function as they always had prior to the existence of theSecretariat.
“Tyranny will expire in our state. If the Nazi Regime could die in Germany, then this facsimile of such will die even much faster to the glory of God and liberty of Rivers State,”
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