Leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are optimistic that the Nyesom Wike-led G-5 governors in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will throw their weight behind the presidential bid of its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 general elections.
The G-5, otherwise known as the ‘Integrity Governors’ include Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) are demanding the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu as a condition for their support for Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.
The aggrieved governors and their supporters had pulled out of the campaign council of Atiku and declared that they would not work for his aspiration unless their demands were met by the candidate and the leadership of the party.
While many of Atiku’s associates such as Chief Raymond Dokpesi had publicly said he will only serve for one term, Wike and his allies believe it is a mere political statement as the agreement may not be honoured.
He has also been romancing prominent APC leaders, inviting them to Rivers state for projects commissioning.
Last week, the governor said he will reveal the presidential candidate to moblise votes for in the 2023 general election in January, 2023, adding that he would undertake a nationwide campaign tour to tell Nigerians the most preferred presidential candidate requiring their votes.
Speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT on Sunday, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC who asked not to be named said many leaders of the party are confident that Wike and his allies will pitch their tent with Tinubu.
“We in the APC are very confident the G-5 governors will back Asiwaju. There are three major presidential candidates in the election. They have completely ruled out Atiku of PDP. Atiku’s campaign team even boasted that they can win the election without the support of the integrity governors. Don’t forget, Atiku also ignored Seyi Makinde and announced Ademola Adeleke as the Chairman of the South-West Coordinating Committee of the campaign council”.
“With Atiku out of the picture, the two remaining candidates are Asiwaju and the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi. From the look of things, a highly sophisticated politician like Wike can never support Obi who has no structures but only relying on social media and fake online polls to claim victory”.
“Politics as they say is a game of numbers. With the flop witnessed in Kogi, Osun and Port Harcourt rally of Labour Party and other parts of the country, do you think any serious politician will support him”? he asked.
“From the body language of the governors, it is clear they are supporting Asiwaju. If you remember, the Oyo State Governor Makinde said they are in support of the Pa Reuben Fasoranti-led Afenifere which endorsed Tinubu’s presidential bid”.
Also speaking, Hon. Festus Asiriuwa, a chieftain of the PDP said since Atiku has ignored their demands, the aggrieved governors may have decided to pitch their tent with Tinubu for the presidential election while supporting PDP candidates in the governorship, senatorial and house of assembly elections.
“ Except Atiku and the PDP leadership accede to the demands of the PDP G-5, then they have no choice than to pitch their tent with the APC for the presidential election. They will however canvass for PDP candidates in the other elections such as governorship, national and state assembly elections”.
“For someone like Wike, he is not going to the Senate after leaving office in 2023, so needs someone who will protect his interests. If Atiku wins, what guaranteed is there that he won’t use presidential power to deal with him?”.
” Makinde is seeking reelection and will not want the APC to use federal might while the likes of Ikpeazu, Ortom and Ugwuanyi are also hoping to install their candidates as successors”. Continue reading