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I won’t leave Atiku, Maeba insists as hoodlums attack house, destroy cars, others

By Ann Godwin and Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
09 December 2022   |   5:30 am
• Rivers govt debunks veiled allegation of involvement • State shuts centre for obstructing traffic while hosting Atiku’s supporters Senator Lee Maeba has declared he will not withdraw his support for the presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) even as persons, numbering over 20, invaded his residence in Government Reserved…

• Rivers govt debunks veiled allegation of involvement
• State shuts centre for obstructing traffic while hosting Atiku’s supporters

Senator Lee Maeba has declared he will not withdraw his support for the presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) even as persons, numbering over 20, invaded his residence in Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Port Harcourt, destroying his personal properties, including cars.

Maeba, who represented Rivers South-East in the Senate, is a supporter of Atiku Abubakar.

Photos and video clips, sighted by The Guardian, showed windscreens of vehicles in Maeba’s compound smashed by yet to be identified attackers.
n eyewitness, who identified himself as Maeba’s brother, said the intruders, armed with dangerous weapons, struck in the early hours of yesterday, smashing windscreens of vehicles and destroying other valuables.

Speaking with newsmen, Maeba confirmed the attack.
He said: “When they attacked, they were asking: ‘Where is he, one single bullet would have solved this problem. This programme you are using to disturb Wike here would have ended.’ My brother is injured and currently undergoing treatment. So his blood has been spilled for what reason?”

He maintained that he would not be deterred, stressing that as a PDP man, he must ensure Atiku wins.
“I am a PDP man, I must ensure the Presidential candidate wins election in my locality, in my state because that is my job. I am doing democracy here. I am not doing thuggery. I have no space for thuggery.

“They came to kill me but only God knows when I will die. And anybody, who planned this, has struck a rock and the result is coming.”
Meanwhile, the state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe Koko, did not pick calls made to her phone. She later told newsmen she was in a meeting and would not make any comment on the matter.
BUT former aide to Wike, Mr. Oraye St Franklin, condemned the attack on Maeba house.

He said: “The attack on Lee Maeba’s residence in Port Harcourt despite its proximity to a police station, is shocking, to say the least,.
“The attack is roundly condemned. Security agencies are called upon to unravel the incident and bring the perpetrators to book.”
Meanwhile, Rivers State Government has distanced itself from the attack.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, in a statement yesterday, asked security agencies to fish out the attackers.

Finebone said: “It is not strange to find politicians staging high level melodrama to either cover up their tracks or muddle up the waters to achieve a preconceived narrative aimed at hoodwinking the public for political reasons especially at a time like this.
“Today, a report by former Senator, Lee Maeba, surfaced on social media that he got a call from a young man. And the caller purportedly, in his own words said that they have instructions from either government or some quarters to attack my house. This makes it obvious that Senator Maeba should help security agencies in unravelling the purported attack on his house and those behind it. It is not enough to blame such an attack on ‘either government or some quarters.’ He should try and remember exactly whom the caller said sent him.
In another development, The Guardian gathered that the Rivers State government sealed off EUI Event Centre in Port Harcourt after loyalists of Atiku held meeting at the venue.

But the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, in a statement, explained that the decision of the government followed the failure of the event centre to heed warnings by the government not to allow its activities obstruct traffic without requisite approval.

Finebone said: “The management of EUI Events Centre has refused to refrain from blocking an entire stretch of part of Sani Abacha link Road without government approval.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Austen Ben Chioma, confirmed obstruction of traffic as reason for the action.

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