Despite promising to reveal their preferred presidential candidate, the five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), known as the G-5, are yet to make public who they would be backing for next month’s election.
Recall that governors, who also include Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) had pulled out of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign, vowing not to return until the sacking or resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
With about 41 days to the February 25th presidential election, the G5 governors are yet to direct their supporters on who to vote for.
Sources have told The Nation that the delay in naming their preferred candidate is because the governors are not on the same page regarding who their preferred candidate should be.
With each state’s unique political permutation, the five governors have had difficulties agreeing on one candidate.
“While they have all agreed that none of them will back Atiku, it has not been easy agreeing on who their common choice should be.
“This difficulty is largely due to the varying political situations in their various states and geo-political zones.
“For example, the two governors from the Southeast are said to be unrepentantly opposed to Obi as choice because of their alleged fear that supporting him will strengthen the chances of Labour Party in their states and in the entire Southeast.
“Both Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi are on the ballot as PDP senatorial candidates. They are also working hard to ensure the victory of PDP gubernatorial candidates as their successors in their various states.
“Consequently, they are not open to any arrangement that will see the G5 endorsing Obi as its preferred presidential candidate for the presidential election in the country,” one source said.
However, Ortom has openly declared support for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, especially after calling him a good candidate.
A source in Benue State said the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate is not popular in the state, adding that it is unlikely that Ortom would have anything to do with the APC because of the threat posed to the PDP in the state by the APC governorship candidate, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia.
“The APC is a strong force in Benue already, and its governorship candidate is a threat to Ortom’s succession plan. Besides, Ortom is a senatorial candidate in the state and cannot afford to lose the election to APC. His preference for Obi is as a result of his fear of the APC,” our source said
Governor Wike, who is reportedly willing to support whoever emerges as the choice of the majority, said in his BBC interview that Ortom’s statement did not amount to an endorsement.
Makinde, on his part, is reportedly backing the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Recall that the Oyo State Deputy Governor, Adebayo Lawal, had said Makinde was in support of the choice of Yoruba elders for the presidential race.