G-5 Governors jet off to London, 'set to endorse Peter Obi'

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The five governors (G-5) elected on the platform of PDP, who are against Iyorchia Ayu the chairman of the party, have traveled to the United Kingdom for another strategic meeting.

 

According to sources, the group led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, left the country for London in the early hours of Monday.

 

A source close to Government House, Port Harcourt, confirmed that all the governors made the trip.

 

The source who is a top party chieftain in Rivers who pleaded anonymity said: “Yes, they left for the UK early yesterday morning, but I can’t say the reason for the trip.”

 

The source noted that the governors would be back in Nigeria on December 30, for Wike to attend his scheduled meeting with the Ogoni Council of Chiefs on December 31.

 

Another source said Wike and his team will use the opportunity of the London trip to discuss the way forward on the crisis rocking the party while in London.

 

The source added that from London, the group of governors would also visit Madrid, Spain.

 

Top on the agenda for the meeting is who they would support for president in the 2023 election.

 

It was gathered barring any last-minute change in political permutations, the group may have concluded plans to endorse Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

 

Obi with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, and four of the G5 governors met in London last August.

 

Last week, Wike said he would reveal the presidential candidate to mobilize votes for in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in January.

 

Speaking at the inauguration of Rumuokwurusi-Elimgbu Flyover in Rumuokwurusi town in Obio-Akpor on December 22, Wike had said he would undertake a nationwide campaign tour to tell Nigerians the most preferred presidential candidate to cast their votes for in the forthcoming election.

 

According to him, Nigerians need a reliable candidate they can trust to deliver the needed national transformation.

 

“So, from January next year, I will campaign to my people on whom to vote for. All of you, who have been in suspense, wait, January is coming. Not only will I tell them where they will vote, I will move from state to state and tell them why they should vote for the people I think they should vote for,” he added.

 

A source privy to the discussions said the decision to endorse Obi came after long and exhaustive deliberations.

 

“One thing is certain. The group will never endorse Atiku. Their differences are irreconcilable. Atiku knows that and has moved on,” the source who pleaded anonymity said.

 

“It has taken them (G5 governors) this long because there was initially no consensus other than their anti-Atiku stance. Governor Seyi Makinde was walking a tightrope considering the fact that he is only a first-term governor who is seeking re-election and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is Yoruba.

 

“But the other four governors don’t have the same worries and taking a decision was not difficult for them.”

 

The source also said the coming on board of other leaders of the party like George, Gana, former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, amongst others contributed a lot.

 

“Beyond the immediate grievance of the G5 governors, some of these other party leaders still hold Atiku and the breakaway faction for the party’s loss of power in 2015. They have still not forgiven him because they believe that his victory will be a reward for treachery and brazen anti-party activities.

 

“So with people like Bode George who will never support Tinubu still nursing deep grievance against Atiku, the only choice is Obi. That is why he has become the beautiful bride.”

 

Another reason that may have favored Obi was the tacit endorsement of Obi by some influential past leaders.

 

“It is no longer a secret that some of the country’s past leaders including former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan have signed onto the Obi presidential project.

 

“There are also indications that others like Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Theophilus Danjuma are sympathetic.

 

“The thinking is that Nigeria is in a deep hole and they don’t want people who will continue digging to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. So, there is a near consensus that Obi approximates the kind of leadership that Nigeria needs at the moment.

 

“Even those that are not talking are working seriously behind the scene, mobilising and reaching out to others who are yet to be fully convinced.

 

“Most of the G5 governors and even the other party leaders were mentored by these former presidents and they are watching their body language,” a source further said.


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