G-5 govs split, may endorse different candidates on election eve

There are indications that the Integrity Group of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also known as G-5, will disclose their stance on presidential candidates few hours to the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

The group of five governors, led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had failed to publicly endorse any of the presidential candidates in January as promised.

Other members of the group are: Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia). A source close to one of the governors told The Guardian that Wike and his group “strategically changed their minds” from disclosing their presidential candidate in January because of “some recent political development.”

He said: “You know they are politicians and they have to react to some unforeseen issues. But they will inform their supporters who to vote for about 24 hours to the election. Also, don’t expect them to go on air to announce it but their supporters will get the message.”

The G-5 has been in a running battle with the PDP over refusal of the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign, following the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the party.

Wike and his members said Iyorchia’s continued stay as the party’s national chairman is against the power rotation principle of the party and federal character clause, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

Investigations by The Guardian revealed that the inability of the embattled PDP governors to jointly endorse a presidential candidate might have forced them to keep silent and allow each to endorse any of the candidates.

Ortom had publicly endorsed Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, while his Oyo State counterpart, Makinde, has not disclosed his preference. It was gathered that the remaining three governors – Wike, Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi – are also divided on their choice.

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