2023: Wike, Makinde, others foreclose support for Atiku

Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Sam Ortom (Benue) have rejected peace overtures from Southsouth leaders, who appealed to them to retrace their steps.

The governors, who left the country three days ago, said they will not leave a crucial meeting in London for any meeting in Nigeria as they insisted there was no room for a final peace deal with Atiku.

This comes as the G-5 governors met with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday.

According to a source, who spoke in confidence, the G-5 team shut its doors against Atiku because he has not yielded grounds on their demands, especially concessions to the South and stepping down from office by the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

The removal of Makinde as the Southwest Coordinator for PDP Presidential Campaign allegedly angered the governors at the session in London.

“They will however, ensure the victory of PDP in other elections in their various states. The good thing is that the Presidential and the National Assembly Elections will come first on February 25, 2023.

“The governors were unhappy that they gave Atiku enough windows to meet their demands, but he refused because he believes he can win without them.

“They claimed that the little trust between them and Atiku has waned. They foresee vengeance against them if Atiku wins the 2023 poll.

“Where there is need for alliance in their states, they said they are determined to prove to PDP and Atiku that they cannot be wished away.”

It was learnt that ahead of the final decision of the G-5 on Atiku, some South-South leaders hurriedly invited Wike to a meeting in Nigeria for a deal with the PDP candidate.

But the Rivers State governor, who is the arrowhead of G-5, said he will not be part of any fresh deal or talk with Atiku.

“Wike told the South-South leaders that it was late in the day to have any meeting with them on the Atiku-Okowa ticket. He said the London meeting was more crucial than the one in Nigeria.

“Some of the Southsouth leaders became helpless and may abandon their latest overtures.”

On a fresh shuttle being planned by a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, another source added: “The G-5 will not sit down with him because he has been biased from the onset. He pitched tents with Atiku. He has his reasons, the G-5 governors have theirs. Water and oil do not mix.”

It was gathered that the G-5 governors met with Tinubu in London.

However, it was unclear whether or not the governors will have audience with other presidential candidates.

One of the governors said: “It was part of the ongoing consultations with all stakeholders. We have said that we will make our position known in January. Don’t jump the gun.”

Since they arrived in London, the governors have been weighing options.

The five choices before the G-5 are as follows:

•To endorse Tinubu or Obi and damn the consequences

•A flat option: To support Tinubu or Obi with resources and the right environment to woo voters in the five states.

•Leave every governor to take any decision based on political exigency in each state or zone

•Refuse to campaign for Atiku and allow the electorates in each state to decide who to vote for.

•Keep their game plan to themselves by waiting till the last minutes before making a pronouncement on their preferred candidate.

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