Police operatives on Thursday night sealed and confiscated three businesses owned by three prominent politicians in Port Harcourt.
The businesses sealed and confiscated by the Rivers State Government on the orders of Governor Nyesom Wike include: a Petrol station, owned by Chinyere Igwe, a federal lawmaker, a Bar owned by Hon. Jones Ogbonda and Hotel owned by Sir Ikechi Chinda.
Owners of the businesses are allies of Austin Opara, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, a supporter of Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Opara is currently at daggers-drawn with Wike over their political allegiance with Atiku.
Wike seemed to have carried out his repeated threat that his administration would seal and demolish any hotel found to be harbouring criminals or used for recruiting cultists in the state.
“While I’m still governor, I will not allow criminals to overrun the state,” he had said.
Igwe, in his reaction said “the action of the state governor is a glaring political persecution because we are allies of Austin Opara, who supports Atiku Abubakar, our party’s presidential candidate. He boasted that he will fight anybody and supports Atiku.”
The politicians whose businesses had been sealed and might be demolished had, however, vowed they would not be forced to leave PDP based on political persecution.
Eyewitnesses said “Government House security last night sealed and arrested customers and staff of Prissy’s Lounge at Elekahia. The said Lounge is owned by Hon Jones Ogbonda, Preray Hotel Eagle Island owned by Ikechi Chinda, former PDP Chairman.
“Some of the guests lodging in hotels were also arrested and the hotel sealed.”
However, the Rivers All Progressives Congress, APC, has criticised the sealing of the businesses owned by PDP chieftains.
Darlington Nwauju, Acting Public Secretary of APC, Rivers said the sealing of businesses was unnecessary and uncalled for.