Meeting with Tinubu: We’ll wield the big stick on G-5 governors – PDP

L-R: Governors Ífeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (Rivers); Dr Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) during the G-5 PDP governors solidarity visit the latter in Bauchi on Wednesday.

Suspense is part of the political game in Nigeria and elsewhere. That is what the five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have been adopting after they fell out with Atiku Abubakar, the party’s Presidential candidate. They are Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu states. Their grouse is that the Presidential candidate and the party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, could not come from the same north. Thus, they wanted Ayu to resign. That is the stalemate as Ayu digs in.

The suspense has been hightened the more by their meeting Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, in London this week.

But hours after the governors met with Tinubu, the PDP, according to a report by The heightened was not aware of therewith r parley with the ruling party’s presidential candidate, “noting that as far it was concerned, the governors were in the UK on vacation.”

The main opposition party, however, as the report has it further, threatened to punish the governors for anti-party activities, stressing that it had “the capacity to discipline the recalcitrant governors.”

Shedding light on the London meeting, a source stated, “Tinubu met with the aggrieved governors yesterday (Tuesday) along with a delegation that included (Kayode) Fayemi, (Babajide) Sanwo-Olu, one other governor and an ex-governor. For now, we are only waiting for the G-5 governors to make the official pronouncement in January.”

On what the demands of the aggrieved governors were, the source declined speaking, saying he wouldn’t want to speculate.

“I don’t have details about that. What I know is that they have met and declared their indication at the meeting that they are not supporting any other candidate,” he stated.

But to speak on the governors’ reported alliance with Tinubu, a member of the PDP National Working Committee, and the Deputy National Youth Leader of the party, Timothy Osadalor, was quoted by the newspaper that the party “has what it takes to impose the necessary sanctions on the governors should they make real their threat of dumping the party’s presidential candidate.”

He added: “These governors know the party they belong to; they know what the party can do. Should they take this step they have been working on for a while now and the party will do what is necessary.

“We want to believe that they are in the United Kingdom for vacation and so reacting to speculations is not what we should be doing now. We want to assure Nigerians that if they take that decision and support a candidate other than ours, the PDP will act. Let me put it straight: this party has the capacity to discipline them and any member who tries to undermine its will.’’

The PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba also stated, “The PDP is a party of constitution, rules and procedures. We don’t react to speculations. Incanwe look at the our party constitution in relation to issues. Whatever happens, it is the constitution that will guide the action we will take.

“These governors are conversant with the PDP constitution having sworn to uphold it. If they tahat action (endorse a raboutial candidate), we will take a decision in line with the provisions of the constitution.

“They have contributed to the success of the party and they have also benefited immensely from the party. They should know that the provisions of the constitutiondecide on every member of the party.

“Reconciliation is not 100m dash but a marathon. We hope they will realize this and embrace the party for good,” Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP.

Also, Chief Dele Momodu, the Director of Strategic Communications, National Election Management Committee of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, said there “is nothing new in the governors’ threat to endorse a presidential candidate of their choice.

He noted, “There is nothing new in this speculation. The party has done its best to resolve these issues all to no avail. So, what I can say now is that they should make their position official.

“We can’t continue like this. They have been issuing this threat since Governor Wike lost the primary election to Atiku Abubakar. As a party, we did our best to reconcile and forge a way forward. Atiku embraced the peace option but you can’t say the same of the other group.

“Talk of Iyorchia Ayu, the chairman of the party is an old story. Nobody is listening anymore. We are preparing for a major election and we are confident of victory. The PDP is too big to be distracted.

“We can’t respond to ‘ifs’. They should come up with their position on who they are supporting and then, we can address the issue. Let us wait for them and see what they come up with.”