Tinubu, Obi Camp Jostle for G-5 Support Ahead of 2023 Polls

Ahead of Nigeria’s national polls in February 2023, five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) otherwise known as the G5 are set to meet with the Presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Barring any last-minute change, the meeting will be held this week, outside the country. A close aide to the Governor of Oyo state said the governors were meeting with members of the ruling party to determine their choice of candidate for the 2023 presidency.

Presidential flagbearer of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Led by Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), the G5 would after the meeting announce their presidential candidate.

The governors,including Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia),Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) have all arrived 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. 

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The PDP has struggled with an internal crisis since the rising from the presidential primaries which produced a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as its presidential flagbearer.

The nomination of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the vice presidential candidate deepened the internal rift with the five governors insisting on the sack of the national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu. 

In spite of several efforts by the various organs of the party to appease the governors, the G5 have stayed away from their party’s presidential campaigns.

Some months ago, Governor Wike in Lagos lauded the achievements of the Lagos State Governor and endorsed him publicly, stating that no other party should be offered the gubernatorial job, except Governor Sanwolu.

Spokespersons for Governor Wike, Kelvin Ebiri and Makinde’s Taiwo Adisa are yet to authenticate the reports.
However, Wike on Thursday said he would disclose his preferred presidential candidate in January 2023. 

Opposition PDP Picks Delta Governor Okowa as Running Mate (News Central TV)
Atiku Abubak and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Presidential Candidate and Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP

Speaking in Port Harcourt, Wike said he will not only tell his people who to vote for, he will campaign for his choice of the presidential candidate throughout the country and “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. 

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In October, the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde while speaking through his deputy, Bayo Lawal, endorsed the candidature of Tinubu. 

The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom had in November said he would never 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.”  

In August, after Wike’s botched meeting with the Atiku, he met with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi the same evening in a secret meeting where the issues were not made public. The meeting fueled suspicions about the governor’s next move.

Sources within the integrity Group hinted at the possibility of the Rivers’ governor declaring support for Tinubu.  

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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 peace and stability to 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.  

Last year, the 17 governors 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. 

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