By EgufeYafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
LE MERIDIEN Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, remains in full swing for business amid Governor Nyesom Wike’s reported revocation of its certificate of occupancy, C of O.
An unconfirmed letter, reportedly issued by the Rivers State Government to Ogeyi Place Hotels Limited, operated under the Le Meridien franchise, trending in some media outlets, had indicated that Governor Wike had withdrawn the C of O for the hotel due to alleged default of the leasehold canon .
Commenting on the development, former media adviser to Governor Wike, Opunabo Inko Taria, on television yesterday reprimanded Wike for taking the alleged action as punishment against the hotel for opening their doors to a gathering of supporters of Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate.
However, when Vanguard visited the Port Harcourt New GRA Phase II hotel, the company was simply dealing with a management source who confirmed that they were not aware of any entitlement to the occupancy withdrawal order.
Inko Taria had claimed, “There was no crisis, politicians met and nothing unpleasant. So, on what grounds are you going to retract the C from O? it is rationally inexplicable. Simply because these are people who are loyal to Atiku and you want to frustrate Atiku’s campaign and that’s why you continued to withdraw that C of O.
A hotel management source simply told Vanguard: “We are not aware of any withdrawal order. You can see we are in full swing and it would just be nice if we didn’t get swept up in the murky waters of the Rivers- politics.”
Commenting on the development, a prominent member of the Rivers PDP Campaign Council told Vanguard: “The common practice these days is for anyone looking for low-cost public attention for the upcoming election to take the easy option of having the governor’s name used. fall.
“Wike isn’t known for fighting under cover and pretense. If he wants to fight, he comes out to open. Recently some rumor mongers from Abuja called out on behalf of Atiku that his campaign office in Port Harcourt has been sealed by Governor Wike.’
“Today it is Wike withdrawing C of O from a hotel over alleged Atiku meeting, but the same hotel is bustling in full operation and Inko Tariah who is not in Port Harcourt, not the owner or member of management, weeps more than the next of kin at this moment. That is the pinnacle of the smear campaign.
“We know their antics. There is no candidate marketable enough to run as a PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship. They don’t have what it takes to challenge the PDP, so the easy way is to stir up unnecessary sentiment and baseless allegations but that won’t help them either.’
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