The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, could be the greatest losers should a likely alliance be formed between the G-5 governors and the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
An indication of an alliance between G-5 governors and Tinubu emerged after a meeting between them held in London, United Kingdom on Tuesday.
Comprising Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), the G-5 governors were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They are demanding, among others, the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, arguing that it defied the principles of fairness and justice for the presidential candidate and national chairman of the party to hail from the same region of the country.
The real grouse of the G-5 governors, it was learnt, was the party’s failure to zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the South, opening up the possibility that another northerner could rule for eight more years after the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari that would elapse on May 29, 2023.
The Herald can report that the governors enjoy the backing of Donald Duke, Jonah Jang, Olusegun Mimiko, former governors of Cross River, Ondo and Plateau states, respectively.
Recall that Wike, who is a prominent leader of the group, had 2 that he would make his preferred presidential candidate known in January 2023.
Wike’s disclosure is believed to tally with the group’s position on the matter.
Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s meeting, the G-5 governors were said to have presented their demands that must be met by Tinubu before he could be assured of their support.
The governors were said to be concerned about their political careers and sought Tinubu’s support for their own political ambitions or that of their proteges.
Although Wike is not contesting for any position in the 2023 elections, he was said to be concerned about his protégé, Siminalayi Fubara, who is the Rivers State PDP governorship candidate in the state.
Makinde is running for a second term as Oyo governor while Ortom will be contesting as the Benue North-West Senatorial District candidate in the polls.
Ikpeazu is the PDP candidate for Abia South Senatorial District and Ugwuanyi is running for the Enugu North Senatorial District.
However, the outcome of the meeting is contentious; while a camp insists Tinubu acceded to the demands of the G-5 governors, another camp said that the meeting ended without any commitment from the APC presidential candidate due to the “complex” nature of the governor’s demands.
The Official Spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo SAN said that the main opposition PDP has itself to blame for its travails.
Keyamo said he had always known that the PDP would regret collapsing the zoning process to accommodate the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“The PDP has turned to a caricature that people now laugh at. We always knew the PDP implosion will come even before the primaries. We were waiting for it to happen.
“When it was very obvious to zone the presidency to the South, the PDP was too scared to take the bold step. Whereas, this same thing could have happened to us if the Northern APC governors had not risen to the challenge boldly and zoned the presidency to the South.
“Even when the ruling party was dilly-dallying on the issue, the governors took the bull by the horn and zoned it to save the APC from this kind of implosion the PDP is having. This is what they should have done. They actually met and agreed the presidency should come to the South in Asaba but (Delta State governor, Ifeanyi) Okowa stabbed them in the back,” Keyamo said.