The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged over 300 policemen on Friday night stormed the hotel where Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, lodged in Benin City to force him out of Edo State.
Nyesom Wike, who is chairman, PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship election, was said to have lodged at Best Western Hotel in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) of the state capital.
It was alleged the policemen were led by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Adeleye Oyebade and arrived the hotel premises around 7pm.
Condemning the alleged siege on Wike, Rivers PDP Chairman, Akawor Desmond, said the Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu would be held responsible should anything happen to their Governor.
He wrote: “The attention of the entire people of Rivers State has been drawn to the siege laid at the Hotel where the Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike is lodging while on official assignment in Benin, Edo State.
“Recall that Governor Nyesom Wike was appointed Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship election; this is same position Governor Ganduje of Kano State occupies for his party the APC.
“Governor Ganduje and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State are all in Benin, Edo State carrying out their assignment for the APC without any molestation or intimidation.
“And in a breach of the pledge they made security agencies have decided to harass and intimidate Governor Nyesom Wike who has not done any wrong.
“May I on behalf of entire Rivers People Warn that we shall hold the IGP responsible for anything that happens to our Governor.
Rivers Commissioner for Information, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said they were afraid for the life of the governor in Benin City.
He said: “Rivers State Government rejects the siege on the hotel of Governor Nyesom Wike in Benin City. We are in a democracy.
“So, he should not be intimidated, in view of the fact that he is the Chairman of the National Campaign Council of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Edo State’s September 19 governorship election.
“We are afraid for the life of Governor Wike, a very harmless citizen of Nigeria. Rivers people will not keep quiet. So, no harm must befall Governor Nyesom Wike, who is a loyal and committed leader of PDP.”
However, the spokesman for the PDP in Edo State, Chris Nehikhare told our reporter he was in his village and not aware of the siege, adding “you can go to his hotel to find out.”
Police sources hinted the siege was not to force Wike out of Edo State but to quarantine him since movement restriction would commence at 11:59pm.
They claimed that operatives were also deployed to pin down other political gladiators to prevent them from moving around during voting hours.
Neither DIG Oyebade nor the Commissioner of Police (Election) Garba Umar could be reached on phone for reaction.
Also, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Edo State Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, did not pick several calls as at the time of filing this report.