2023 presidency: Obi’s camp upbeat as Tinubu’s men claim endorsement from G-5 Govs
Following claims by some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the five aggrieved governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have endorsed their presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu for the 2023 elections, the Labour Party campaign council has said its candidate, Peter Obi will still win the February poll.
The G-5, who include the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, Seyin Makinde of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi were in London last week to finalize a deal with their preferred presidential candidate.
The aggrieved governors fell out with the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar over his failure to persuade the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu to resign his position to pave the way for a Southerner.
They had narrowed down their presidential candidate to either Peter Obi or Bola Tinubu.
Supporters of Peter Obi and Tinubu were gripped with anxiety a few days ago over who the G-5 Governors would pick for the endorsement.
The APC candidate and former Lagos governor was said to have met with the aggrieved PDP governors behind closed doors in London on Tuesday, but Tinubu has denied holding such a meeting.
The governors, according to sources, were pessimistic that the former Anambra governor lacked the structure to win the February poll.
DAILY POST also gathered that the governors were unable to unanimously pick Tinubu due to their respective ambitions and interests, in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
While Makinde is seeking re-election as governor of Oyo State on the PDP platform, Ortom, Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu, who will finish their second term on May 29, 2023, are all contesting senatorial seats in their respective districts.
Alhough Wike, the leader of the group is not contesting any position in the forthcoming elections, the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State is his preferred choice.
However, some APC chieftains, including a spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettima campaign council, Femi Fani-Kayode and the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital Communications, Bashir Ahmad claimed in their tweets on Friday that the G-5 governors dumped Obi for Tinubu.
“The offer put forward by the five governors was fantastically positive.
“That will definitely help us to seal our eminent victory in 2023. Let’s do it together,” Ahmad tweeted on Thursday.
Similarly, a chieftain of the APC in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Stephen Ocheme told DAILY POST on Saturday that the G-5 governors are only waiting for the right time to make the announcement of the purported endorsement.
“From the information I have gathered so far, the deal is sealed. They are only waiting for the right time to make the announcement.
“You will hear the big news the day Makinde will flag-off his campaign first week of January”, he said with full assurance.
But Wike who spoke while inaugurating a project in the State shortly after returning from the UK trip, debunked the claims, saying they did not endorse anybody.
However, speaking with DAILY POST on behalf of Obi, the chief spokesperson for the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Dr Yunusa Tanko expressed optimism that the former Anambra governor has the ability to succeed President Buhari in 2023 without the help of the G-5 Governors.
He said, “If they (G-5) eventually endorse Tinubu, that will not affect Peter Obi’s chances because we didn’t do the millions marches with them. We did it personally with everyone contributing and volunteering.
“We have resolved to work together as a team irrespective of the bad leadership we have had in the past years. To say the truth, it is because they are seeing the strong Obidient movement that all of them are considering whether to endorse us or not.
“As far as we are concerned, we are strongly with the Nigerian youths. It would have been an added advantage to us if they decided to join us as we rescue Nigeria which all of us must do. But if they decide to go the other way, we will continue with our movement.
“We will continue to fight for the soul of Nigeria. It is about the frustrated youths. They decide where they want to go not any individual.
“The Nigerian youths are currently frustrated and they need someone who can bring the country back on track and they have found what they want in Peter Obi”.