The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar had reportedly directed members of his camp to meet with the five aggrieved Governors of the party identified as G-5.
The aggrieved Governors had vowed not to support Atiku in 2023 if the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu refuse to resign from office.
Atiku who is not willing to move on without the aggrieved Governors in his train ahead of the 2023 presidential election has reportedly taken steps to reconcile with them.
A source that spoke with Saturday Sun said the former Vice President has directed members of his kitchen cabinet to reach out to the G-5 Governors.
The source further stated that Atiku also reached out to former President, Goodluck Jonathan to intervene.
The source, however, stated that Jonathan’s intervention may prove counterproductive, as Atiku’s men who are expected to meet with the former president, all worked against Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015.
According to the source, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is unwilling to support Atiku as he did in 2019.
The source said Obasanjo may have given his support to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
The source claimed that Southern PDP leaders and some stakeholders expected to prevail on the G-5 governors are opposed to the emergence of Atiku.
He revealed that the leaders before the presidential primaries of PDP which was won by Atiku had insisted that it was the turn of the South to produce Nigeria’s next president.
The source said, “Atiku’s campaign is struggling, even if he might not want to admit it. The support he expected from the people is not coming. He has realized that he needs the governors to win this election.
“He had the chance and missed the opportunity. Now, the five aggrieved governors are recruiting more people to join them. If Atiku doesn’t move fast, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State will join the G-5 governors.
“As I speak, there is no prominent PDP leader from the South who is with Atiku. Those people parading themselves as Southern PDP leaders can’t win elections in their villages.
“The problem now is that the people who can prevail on Wike and other governors are those Atiku offended in the past. He has offended Jonathan and even worked against him in 2015.
“He undermined Obasanjo in 2003. He worked against Odili in 2007. Edwin Clark doesn’t want to even see Atiku for working against Jonathan in 2015. Same thing with Bode George.
“Leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who worked for him in 2019, can’t openly support him. These people I’ve mentioned are those who can prevail on these aggrieved governors to work with Atiku.”
The source added that Atiku may have the support of the North, but won’t get a landslide victory because the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwakwanso will drag the votes with him in the north.
He noted that Atiku’s vote will be affected in the North East because of the presence of the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima.
The source who claimed that the presidential candidate of APC, Bola Tinubu can boast of 80 per cent of votes from the South West, said Atiku can’t do the same in the North.
He said with Obi in the race, Atiku has lost South East, and can not boast of 30 per cent in the South-South over issues with Wike.
The source said Atiku is careful of upsetting his Northern Muslim support base, which does not want him to associate with Wike.
The PDP member said if Atiku concedes some grounds and positions to the G-5 governors, he will gain their support.
The source said while Tinubu is willing to concede some cabinet positions to the G-5 governors, Atiku on the other hand is unwilling to commit himself.
The source warned, “If Atiku’s kitchen cabinet members mean well for him, they need to tell him the truth now. The G-5 governors must be brought on board before the end of November or PDP can just bid Aso Rock goodbye.”