To finalise the deal on the 2023 presidency, five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are set to meet with the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Daily Trust reports.
A reliable source close to the former Lagos State governor, said barring any last-minute change, the meeting will be held in one of the European countries this week.
The source, who refused to give the exact date of the meeting, however, said it is being conveyed to firm up their deal on the 2023 presidency with the governors.
He said the G-5 governors, comprising Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) would after the meeting make their preferred presidential candidate known to the public.
The governors, it was gathered are already in the United Kingdom ahead of the meeting.
“The support by G5 for Tinubu is going to be a game changer, akin to the declaration of the G6 for the APC in 2014.
“We are meeting with the group this week in Europe to firm up the arrangement. They are first-class nationalists who believe in the Nigeria project and we shall work together for the good of the nation,” he said.
Arising from the presidential primaries of the PDP that produced a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Daily Trust reports that there has been a crisis rocking the leading opposition party.
The nomination of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the vice presidential candidate ballooned the internal wrangling with the five governors calling for the head of the national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Several efforts by the various organs of the party to pacify the governors have hit the rock.
G-5 govs mum as Nigerians await Wike’s announcement Jan
Efforts to get the reaction of the aggrieved governors yielded no results as the spokesperson for Wike, Kelvin Ebiri and Makinde’s Taiwo Adisa did not pick up their calls at the time of filing this report. But Wike had on Thursday said he would disclose his preferred presidential candidate in January 2023.
Speaking, while commissioning a project in Port Harcourt, Wike said he will not only tell his people who to vote for but will campaign for his choice of the presidential candidate throughout the country. “Nothing will happen.”
“So, all of you who have been in suspense, who have been saying all kinds of things, abusing me; wait, January is here,” he said.
In October, the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde while speaking through his deputy, Bayo Lawal, endorsed the candidature of Tinubu.
Similarly, the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom had in November said he would not support Atiku’s presidential bid.
Ortom, who spoke when he hosted his colleagues in Makurdi, said “To hell with Atiku and anyone supporting him. They should go and tell him. You want me to be a slave for a Fulani. It’s better I die. Anybody supporting Atiku is an enemy of Benue”
Our decision to be guided by Asaba declaration – Rivers gov’s ally
Sources in Wike-led Integrity Group disclosed last night that a final decision on the matter was not yet reached, though they both hinted at the possibility of the Rivers’ governor declaring support for Tinubu.
One of them, a close associate of Wike, said “There are only four candidates, it’s only one of them that we are not considering. We are yet to settle down on anyone. But our watchword is equity, justice and what can bring about peace and stability in this country. It is in line with the Asaba Declaration.
“But whoever we will settle on must have the needed strength and capacity,” he said.
In May last year, the 17 governors who are from the Southern part of the country met in Asaba, Delta State, where they made a 12-point declaration, including the zoning of the presidency to the south.
Another source, who is a member of the group, said there may be a split at the end of the day as the five governors and other chieftains may not go in one direction.
“Wike can support Tinubu, but I don’t see some others in the group, like Ortom, going in the same direction. The two governors from the South East may also find it hard going against PDP and LP to support APC considering the political realities of their states,” he said.
The source said Wike had extended invitations to members of the group to attend the commissioning of the 11th and 12th bridges in the Port Harcourt later in January, adding that the event may be used to parley on the next line of action for the group.
G-5 alliance won’t affect Atiku’s victory – Campaign council
Contacted, a spokesperson for the campaign council of Atiku, Senator Dino Melaye, said the alliance won’t affect the victory of Atiku in 2023.
In a phone interview, Melaye told this paper yesterday, that they are awaiting for the next line of action of the aggrieved governors.
“We are waiting for his announcement. That’s all,” he said but when asked whether the alignment will affect Atiku’s chances, he added, “Not at all. Nigerians are already queueing behind Atiku. By God’s grace, he is the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A source in Atiku’s camp told this paper that the five governors are against the former vice president, “because they want to actualise the southern presidency.
“They are against Atiku’s candidacy because they pushed for the southern presidency. We are aware of their plot and we are watching but what they don’t know is that Nigerians are resolute to vote out APC for PDP to take over, “he said.
We will respect all agreements – Asiwaju’s associate
A member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council said all agreements with the five governors would be respected.
“Wike’s movement and key members of our team are like-minded and contemporaries. We are going to honour and respect all commitments we have entered into with them,” he said.
Reminded that one of the aggrieved governors, Ortom was inching towards Obi, the party chief, a former governor said; “For Peter Obi, the political arithmetic does not add up. No one bludgeons his way to the Nigerian Presidency through insults, threats and blackmail. It’s by building bridges that leaders emerge in Nigeria.”
Ortom had described Obi as the best person who can solve Nigeria’s socio economic problems.