By Adeola Badru
There was a palpable fear about what might be the outcome of yet another round of meetings by the five aggrieved governors within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP fold, named: ‘G-5, as they are currently in the United Kingdom, UK to decide on who they will support as the 2023 presidential candidate.
The five governors, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), had been at loggerheads with the leadership of the party, over their insistence on Iyorchia Ayu’s resignation.
Before the trip, they had foreclosed working for the presidential candidate of their party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The G-5 Governors under the aegis of the Integrity Group, are leaving no stone unturned in driving home their grievances ahead of the 2023 general election.
According to a close source who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity yesterday, the G-5 Governors are rooting for either the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, or the flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi as their preferred choice.
Recall that at a private meeting of three of the aggrieved governors with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, he asked the G-5 to support Obi because no Igbo candidate has been elected president.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the dilemma of the G-5 Governors was not to back the wrong candidate, which will make PDP and Atiku mock them.
The source said the five governors will run campaigns for presidential and governorship elections together, adding that they ought to streamline their position to be able to inform the electorate properly on where they are headed.
The source stressed: “The London meeting is a wrap-up session on their preferred presidential candidate who will also be part of the campaign in their respective states.”
“Before they left, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was already out of their equation. Both Atiku’s running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and Governor Emmanuel Udom did not succeed in prevailing on the G-5 to support the PDP candidate.”
“They claimed that Okowa and Udom are parts of the problem in PDP because they refused to abide by the decision of the Southern governors on power shift to the South.”
“They have drawn the battle lines with Atiku. They have foreclosed any reconciliation. They will now meet at the poll to settle political scores.”
“The G-5 governors have to choose between Tinubu and Obi. They have to consider all options, including the consideration of who has the strength or figures to defeat Atiku in the presidential poll.”
“It is no longer about sentiments, but facing the reality on whose figures can add up to win the poll for power shift to the South, which is their ultimate objective.”
Another source said: “The greatest fear of the G-5 governors is supporting a weak candidate who may lose the presidential election. Then, all their objective, plot and bragging will come to naught.”
“Yet, they want to prove a point to PDP that they are a force to reckon with. If they fail to make an impact in 2023 poll, it will spell doom for their political career.”
“As politicians, the G-5 governors have been closely monitoring the campaigns and political trends in the country. They will use available statistics at their disposal to determine whether or not to back Tinubu or Obi.”
Findings, however, confirmed that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo told three of the governors, who paid him a private visit, to work for Obi to give the Igbo a chance to lead the nation.
A close aide of one of the governors said: “Obasanjo made the plea during a private session with Wike, Ortom and Makinde.”
“Some of the governors are not for Obi, but they are already aiding him with logistics, including free use of stadia for the campaign.”