Rivers Govt Seals Hotel, Others, Scores Arrested Over Illegal Gathering
A combined team of security operatives during the early hours of Friday sealed a hotel, bar and a filling station in Port Harcourt, while some people, including staff of the facilities were arrested.
The facilities sealed are Preray Hotel at Eagle Island, Priscy’s Bar in Elekahia and Mega Tool Filling Station along Ojoto Street in the Diobu axis, all in the Rivers State capital.
This is coming after days after Governor Nyesom Wike’s state-wide broadcast where he alleged that some politicians were recruiting cultists and ex-convicts to destabilise the state over their 2023 political ambitions.
Though the reason for the action could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, but it is alleged to be a clampdown on perceived political opponents.
It was gathered that a team of security operatives, including police tactical units in several patrol van, stormed the facilities in the wee hours of Friday, effected the arrests and sealed the premises
It was further revealed that the sealed facilities are owned by loyalists to a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Austin Opara.
Opara, a former ally of Wike, is no longer in the latter’s good books for allegedly hobnobbing with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement by Wike’s media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said the government was aware that owners of hotels and entertainment centres are in the process of giving out their premises to politicians and political parties as a convenient base for the gathering of “political thugs”.
The statement partly read, “Similarly, we will not allow any political party, be it the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party or the Social Democratic Party to threaten the safety and security of lives and property during the campaigns with mayhem, thuggery or violence.
“Accordingly, we have already alerted and set the security agencies on the trail of these misguided politicians and leaders of political parties and stop them in their tracks with the full weight of the law.”
The governor warned that the government will pull down hotels and other entertainment places that are linked with such criminal political activities.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, said he was not aware of the incident saying, “I am just getting to my office. I will find out.”