2023: Anxiety As Obi, Tinubu Await G-5 Endorsement

.Group to unveil choice January

.Candidates in last minute push

By MBACHU GODWIN, Abuja

There is palpable anxiety in the camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main challenger in the 2023 general election, the Labour Party over the expected endorsement of the G5 Peoples Democratic Party governors led by Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike .Political pundits believe that any presidential candidate backed by the group will brighten his chances at the February 25 poll.

Barring any last minute change, the G5 will by January 5, at Ibadan unveil its preferred presidential candidate it will support at the 2023 Presidential Poll.  Although Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had earlier at a function in Port Harcourt revealed that he will pronounce his candidate by January, 2023. 

 AljazirahNigeria checks indicate that there are speculations; palpable tension from the two leading contenders in the South, the APC Bola Tinubu and LP Peter Obi on where the pendulum will swing as the two top presidential candidates makes last minute push to secure the endorsement of the new power brokers.

Also, last night there were strong speculations that the governors, led by Nyesom Wike, may end up throwing their weight behind Olusegun Obasanjo’s candidate, Peter Obi.

The two presidential candidates  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi had met with the aggrieved PDP governors severally in London. Former president Obasanjo led Obi to meet with the governors while Tinibu in a further push to secure the endorsement of the governors also met recently in London. The All Progressives Congress, APC, was said to be upbeat in securing the endorsement of the G5, as it boasts of meeting every demand from the PDP governors.

AljazirahNigeria reports that Governor Wike and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of his political party, PDP, have been at loggerheads after the opposition party’s primary election. The G5 had demanded for the resignation of the party’s National chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to balance the power rotation in the party, a demand Atiku rebuffed. 

 The PDP hierarchy and its different reconciliation and peace committees seem to be running out of time with less than two months until the presidential election.

 The Rivers State helmsman has four other Governors solidly behind him and are backing every move and calls he makes and are willing to accept any decision from the Ikwerre-born politician.

Wike had made good his promise of supporting Peter Obi with logistics by providing vehicles and venue for his presidential rally in Port Harcourt recently.

He went on to vow that he would by January tell Rivers people and his supporters nationwide the candidate to vote for in the presidential election, vowing to move from State to State to campaign for that very candidate.

 Wike and his aggrieved G-5 governors are in London, United Kingdom, where they are expected to brainstorm and come up with a final stand on the candidate to support for the country’s top political position.

There is the general belief that they are likely to choose between Obi and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

While Nigerians await the decision of their meeting on the choice of a presidential candidate, an insider told AljazirahNigeria what might be the end point of the meeting.

 The group has refused to campaign for Atiku, insisting that the North cannot produce the Presidential flagbearer and the National Chairman of the party

Other members of the G-5 are governors of Benue, Oyo, Enugu and Abia States, who alongside Wike demanded the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the PDP National Chairman.

A source, who pleaded anonymity said: “Before I answer your main question let me first tell you this, any candidate that these governors have chosen might just be the next President of Nigeria. I will tell you why”.

“The reason is simple. Wike behaves like a mad man whenever he is chasing something and wants to prove a point. He is going to take that candidate’s campaign for the remaining weeks personal”, the source closer to one of the aggrieved governors, told our correspondent.

He added that, “Their decision will change so many things and create fears in the minds of the other candidates and their supporters. The time of grace for the PDP presidential candidate has passed. Now is the time for the big decision that will turn the political narrative around.

“The reason for this meeting is for all members of the group to agree on one thing. They really don’t want to speak in diverse tones. They want to embark on a massive campaign that will shake Nigeria in January so they want to agree on one candidate to avoid division. They can’t make such a mistake.

“From what I’m seeing, they may push for Peter Obi. For Wike, it has been Peter Obi and I think Governor Ortom has also bought into that idea.

“They’ve seen that Obi, not Labour Party, has massive support majorly from the youth population and they are convinced that with their support, Obi might just win. But they all need to be in concordance and thoroughly examine their next move”.

But the last minute meeting between Tinubu and the governors may alter the permutations and end up in the favour of the ex-Lagos governor.

Also speaking on the matter, a member of the PDP Campaign Council, who does not want to be mentioned, said the G5 can even travel to the moon to take whatever decision they want to take, insisting their decision won’t change anything.

“Well, whatever they announce now is not new to Nigerians. Nigerians already know their decisions. You will be surprised only if you have not been following the political development since after the presidential primary. They can go anywhere.

“They can travel to the moon to make their worthless decisions. Nigerians have decided that Atiku is their next President and you think Wike, Ortom and others can change that? They may be governors but are they bigger than the electorate? Let them hold their meetings after which Nigerians will decide.

“It doesn’t bother His Excellency or his campaign which has been in full gear. You can see the massive support from Nigerians in every State we visit. The people are fed up with the current APC hardship and they know that only Atiku can save the situation and unify the country,” he further stated.

But in all these back and forth drama, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar had described Wike and his group as not God that will make him president, boasting that they will be shocked to see him emerge president.

As the political atmosphere gets charged less than two months to the poll, it remains to be seen who gets the nod of the G5 governors, whether Obi or Tinubu, this is in the womb of time as Nigerians await the decision of the group.