Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday alleged a siege to his hotel in Benin City by the police, restricting his movement ahead of the governorship elections in the state.
The governor, who spoke exclusively to Channels TV says he is in the state to monitor the election on behalf of his party and insists he won’t leave the state.
He said, “As the Chairman of the National Campaign Council (of the PDP), I came in here with some of my colleagues; I was in the hotel. Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the IG (Inspector General of Police) called.
“I think they called my orderly; I don’t know how they got his number and then I spoke with the IG and he said I must leave Edo State. I said ‘for what?’ He said because my being here may cause a crisis. I said how will it cause crisis? He said because I made a statement that is inflammatory. I said ‘which statement did I make? That we should be extra vigilant? That people should protect their votes?’ So, ‘what is the inflammatory statement I made?’”
Maintaining that he had done no wrong, the governor told the IGP, he won’t leave the state.
According to him, about 10 minutes after he refused to leave the state, over 300 policemen had surrounded his hotel.
Governor Wike said regardless of the siege, he won’t leave the state because he is Chairman of the PDP national campaign council and is not the only governor in Edo for the election.
“The governor of Kano is here, the governor of Imo is here, the Deputy Senate President is here,” he said. “So why will you tell me to leave?” All three men Governor Wike mentioned are members of the All Progressives Congress.
The governor decried the said call by the IGP, describing it as “the highest level of impunity”.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, told Channels TV that the police are making sure that there is peace in the state and will resist any act of violence.
He said, “The police don’t have to lay siege on anyone, but the situation is that no matter the status of the citizen of Nigeria in Nigeria, we will ensure that we do all within our capacity to create a conducive atmosphere for free, fair, credible elections.
“People having no business within Edo State cannot be moving from one point to another. Movement is restricted. For the purpose of this election, movement is restricted. The restriction commences from midnight to 18:00 hours tomorrow when we believe that election would have been concluded. Nobody is empowered to move about, whether you are a governor or not.”