The presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, will have to find another base of operations for his campaign in Rivers State after the state government, led by Governor Nyesom Wike, sealed off its campaign office in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The office, sited in GRA Port Harcourt, was sealed off on Friday for violating an Executive Order signed by Governor Wike two weeks ago which prohibited the establishment of campaign offices in residential areas with express approval from the government.
It was another blow to Atiku who has struggled to get his campaign off the ground, with media attention and international spotlight placed on his opponent from the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Some have insinuated that the action may be connected to Atiku’s running feud with Governor Wike, also a member of the PDP, who is leading a rebellion of other governors intent on sinking Atiku’s ambition.
Wike fell out with Atiku over the conduct of the party’s presidential primary election and the candidate’s failure to fulfil an alleged promise to select him as running mate. Although he lost at the primaries, Wike still commands significant influence within the party, as evidenced by his G-5 rebellion comprising four other governors.
Actions of the Rivers State government on Friday undermined hopes of a possible reconciliation and magnified Atiku’s chances of defeat, given Wike’s political might and strong followership – particularly in the South-South region where anything short of an overwhelming victory will doom the PDP candidate.