Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State, and his four other G5 friends have been urged by Senate President Godswill Akpabio to form another disgruntled faction within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) so that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) can easily win the 2027 presidential election.
In his hometown of Rumueprikom in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the oil-rich South-South state, Wike hosted a thanksgiving reception at his private property on Ada-George Road on Sunday. At the event, former Akwa Ibom State governor Akpabio gave a speech.
“I want to thank you for everything you have done to bring justice to Nigeria,” Akpabio said to Wike, who advocated the return of leadership to Southern Nigeria and favored Bola Tinubu of the APC over Atiku Abubakar of his party in the 2023 presidential election.
The Senate President addressed the G5, also known as the Integrity Group, which is made up of five significant PDP leaders who were upset with Abubakar’s victory in the most recent election on February 25. “And I want to thank the G5 Governors,” he added.
“We are overjoyed and honored to have G5. Please make sure that another G5 develops in 2027 so that APC can continue to perform effectively in this nation. Additionally, you can add two more if you’d like to form G7 rather than just G5, Akpabio said.
I believed Makinde would become governor.
When speaking to the late Alaafin, may his soul rest in peace, Akpabio stated, “Your Excellency (Governor) Makinde, you are aware I predicted that you are going to be a governor when I met you. Oyo State is also one of the G5 members. I was just observing your gait and thought, “This man walks like a governor.” I wasn’t shocked when you were elected governor.
At the ceremony, all five members of the G5 were seated, including Wike, Makinde, and former governors of Benue, Abia, and Enugu, Samuel Ortom.
Former governors Peter Odili (Rivers), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and James Ibori (Delta) were present, along with Ayo Fayose, another member of the Integrity Group, and Umar Damagum, the Acting PDP Chairman.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, acted as a representative for President Bola Tinubu. Serving Governors Siminalayi Fubara (Rivers), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), joined the long list of Very Important Personalities at the event which was a Mecca of sorts with high-ranking APC stalwarts and members of the 10th National Assembly including Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, ex-Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; ex-Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; member representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ali Ndume; amongst others.
G5 and APC’s Romance
Many people thought that Abubakar’s chances in the most recent presidential election were diminished by the G5 because they insisted on rotating the presidency following the eight-year presidency of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader from Katsina State in northwestern Nigeria whose two terms as president were duly elected and will end on May 29, 2023.
The G5 were unsuccessful in preventing Abubakar, another northerner from Adamawa State, from winning the PDP’s golden ticket at the party’s primary last year ahead of the general elections in 2023. The group then asked that Iyorchia Ayu, a northerner from Benue State, resign from his position as PDP national chairman in favor of a southern successor, but Atiku and Ayu called the G5’s bluff.
Abubakar was unsuccessful in winning the presidency in any of the G5 states, and Tinubu triumphed in Oyo, Benue, and Rivers while Peter Obi of the Labour Party did so in Enugu and Abia.
To win the most votes (8,794,726), over two million more than his nearest rival, Abubakar, 70-year-old Tinubu won in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states and scored major results in several others.
Abubakar, 76, who has now campaigned for president six times, received 6,984,520 votes, while Obi, who finished the race with 6,101,533, garnered young voters in a way that some have called unprecedented in less than a year.
The G5 paid President Tinubu a visit at the Aso Villa in Abuja on June 8.