Thugs suspected to be loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, disrupted the meeting of the National Mandate Group (NMG), a group supporting the aspiration of the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in Rivers State.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the group, led by Senator Lee Maeba, was in Bori, the headquarters of Khana local government area of the State, at a facility owned by the former lawmaker before the gathering was dispersed by the thugs.
It was further gathered that the group had met to endorse the candidature of Atiku, who is currently in a face-off with the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, over the choice of Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, as the PDP presidential running mate.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State government has reaffirmed its determination to arrest and prosecute owner of any filling station selling petroleum products supplied by artisanal refiners.
This is as it said that no amount of blackmail will deter it from prosecuting the lawmaker representing Port Harcourt federal constituency II in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinyere Igwe, whose filling station had been sealed for alleged illegal oil bunkering activities.
The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, who disclosed this, spoke on Monday at Mogho community in Gokana local government area of the State during a Permanent Voters Card (PVC) sensitisation and mobilisation rally organised by the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI).
Woke insisted that the state government has constitutional obligation to decisively deal with anyone involved in acts inimical to the Nigerian economy.
He said: “Anybody who allows his business premises to be used for illegal oil bunkering, that premises will be shut down. Whoever, allows his hotel to harbour criminals bent of destabilizing the State, we will deal with you according to the law.”
The Chief of Staff, who urged Hon. Igwe to submit himself to security agencies for interrogation, however, warned him to desist from misleading the unsuspecting members of the public with spurious claims that he was being politically victimised.
Woke further took a swipe at Hon. Igwe for making derogatory remarks about the State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
According to him, but for the governor’s benevolence, the federal lawmaker would have gone into political extinction.
Woke added: “I listen to Chinyere Igwe yesterday talking about ingratitude. A man who had been retired politically. This is the man who spent only one term in the House of Representatives and came back home.
“The immediate-past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, chased him out of Port Harcourt and he ran to Abuja. He even contested on the platform of ACN then, and lost woefully.
“When we had mobilized GDI and had strengthened the party (Peoples Democratic Party), we brought him back and those of them whom he said he is speaking for now. None of them were foundation members of GDI.
“And His Excellency, the governor gave him platform, first as a Commissioner and then to the National Assembly, even though he didn’t win the primary. And today, he is talking about ingratitude.”