The five aggrieved Governors within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) popularly known as the G5 are set to take a final decision on the presidential candidate to support for the 2023 elections.
To this end, the Governors are said to have taken their meeting to London, United Kingdom where they are expected to conclude on a preferred candidate before making their choice public in January 2023.
Bellnewsonline.com recalls the Governors; Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State) took a stand against supporting the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
They insisted on the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu from office and his replacement with a southerner as the only condition to support Atiku’s 2023 bid.
However, despite several meetings and entreaties on how to resolve the disagreement, Ayu has refused to step down and the Governors have also not changed their position.
Information gathered by Bellnewsonline.com has it that as the Governors hold a strategic meeting in London, they might have totally ruled out any chances of supporting the PDP and Atiku.
A source added that the G5 Governors are set to choose between the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, or the Labour Party (LP) flagbearer, Peter Obi.
While the Governors are said to be focused on supporting a southern candidate, they also want to choose a candidate that would defeat Atiku so they won’t become a subject of mockery after the 2023 polls.
The source said a final decision is set to be made at the London meeting as the G5 governors may kick off campaign on January 5.
As quoted by The Nation, the source said: “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.”
Fear Of Supporting A Weak Candidate
In settling for their preferred presidential candidate, the G5 Governors are said to be wary of supporting a weak candidate who may lose the election.
They are reportedly monitoring political developments in the country and will try and choose the best candidate to go up against Atiku.
Another top 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.”
Obasanjo Angle On Peter Obi
Further information has it that three of the G5 Governors (Wike, Ortom and Makinde) recently had a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and he appealed to them to support Peter Obi.
Obasanjo was said to have hinged his choice on the argument that the Igbos should be given a chance to produce the next President of Nigeria.
A close aide of one of the governors was quoted to have 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 campaign.
Five Likely Outcomes Of The London Meeting
A third source, who has been privy to the plans of the Governors listed some possible outcomes of the G5 strategic meeting in London as follows:
*To endorse Tinubu or Obi and damn the consequences
* A flat option: To support Tinubu or Obi with resources and the right environment to woo voters in the five states
*Leave every governor to take any decision based on political exigency in each state or zone
* Refuse to campaign for Atiku and allow the electorate in each state to decide who to vote for.
*Keep their game plan to themselves by waiting till the last minutes before making a pronouncement on their preferred candidate.