Nigeria: Sanction Threats – G-5 Governors Dare PDP, Say We’re Not Afraid

It became glaring yesterday that the five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), popularly known as G-5, have crossed the Rubicon in their bid to support a southern presidential candidate other than their party’s flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar.

They vehemently dared the national leadership of the party to proceed with the threat to sanction them for supporting any other presidential candidate instead of Atiku.

The G-5 governors who are currently in London to decide on the candidate to back in the 2023 presidential election insisted that they have done nothing wrong to deserve sanction by the party.

They called PDP’s bluff, saying threats of sanctions do not scare them, even as they stated that those proposing such sanctions know the consequences.

Reports had emerged that the PDP leadership would slam the governors with sanctions if they engage in anti-party activity by supporting any other candidate instead of Atiku, the party’s presidential candidate.

The G-5 governors led by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, include Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu),

They are said to have travelled to London in continuation of their series of meetings abroad to decide on which candidate to support.

Wike who has been enjoying closer rapport with APC chieftains since he fell out with the PDP national leadership had last week declared that he would reveal the candidate he would support in January 2023.

The five governors, alongside some PDP leaders, had distanced themselves from the PDP presidential campaign, insisting that the national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, a northerner, must relinquish his seat for a southerner as part of the power balancing deal in the party.

Disdaining the threat to sanction them for anti-party activities, Governor Wike told LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday that the group was not afraid of any suspension from the party.

Speaking in Port Harcourt last night through his commissioner for Information and Communications, Alabo-elect Chris Finebone, the Rivers governor said, “We are watching if they can do that. It is those who want to do it (suspension) that deserves to speak.

“They know the consequences of doing that but let it come from the mouth of those who intend to do that – those who intend to suspend Governor Wike and four others.

“Let them be the ones that will say what the outcome will be. Being afraid of suspension is not in our dictionary at all.

“Let those who think they want to suspend Governor Wike and others attempt it. That means they want to plant a wind; they will reap a whirlwind.”

Also, Benue State governor, Ortom, insisted that they did nothing to warrant sanction from the party leadership.

“My reaction to this is simple: the governor has not done anything wrong against the party to warrant any impunity or sanction by the party,” Ortom’s chief press secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, told our correspondent.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Oyo State has described the threat by the party’s national leadership to sanction the G5 governors, including Seyi Makinde over alleged anti-party activities as a rumour.

A source at state chapter of the party who initially declined comment said the party could not react to the rumour.

Noting it that is a matter at the national level, he said it is power play which one should not allow to consume him.

He said the party would wait for the leadership at the national level to carry out its threat, and allow the governor to react before the state chapter would react.

“I don’t want to react because it’s still a rumour. It is still at the national level. The state chapter of the party will have to allow the party to carry out its threat, allow the governor to react before the state chapter reacts”, the source said.

Wike’s Camp Denies Crack In G-5 Ranks

Meanwhile, the camp of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has denied reports on social media that there is a crisis within the ranks of the G-5 governors.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP Friday in Port Harcourt yesterday, a former member of the House of Representatives, Ogbonna Nwuke, said those suggesting that a crisis has erupted within the group were not even at the meeting.

Nwuke, who is also the spokesman of the Consolidation for New Rivers Vision Campaign Council, stated that the G-5 governors were knowledgeable about events and will take steps that are in the best interest of the country.

He said, “There is no crisis whatsoever among members of the G-5. Those who are suggesting a crisis are not in the meeting. We have not heard the meeting has broken up.

“What we expect is a decision and the Nigerian people are waiting for their pronouncement. That decision will come, despite what may seem like the existence of divergent views.

“The G-5 governors are knowledgeable about events, they are great patriots too and so will take steps that are in the best interest of the country.”

2023: Struggle For Southern Presidency Must Continue, Akeredolu Tells Amaechi

Meanwhile, Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, declared yesterday that the struggle for the southern part of the country to produce the next president must continue until it is realised.

Governor Akeredolu particularly urged the people to vote for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the spirit of fairness and equality.

The governor explained that since President Muhammadu Buhari from the North is spending eight years, it is the turn of the South to produce the next president for another eight years.

Governor Akeredolu spoke while playing host to former minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure.

Amaechi was in Akure for the presentation of staff of the office to Chief Olu Falae as Olu of Ilu Abo in Akure North local government area.

Akeredolu noted that no loyalist of the APC can forget the principal role of Amaechi as director-general of the party’s presidential campaign in 2015.

He appreciated the former minister for coming to Akure to honor Chief Falae, adding that the monarch has served Nigeria creditably and the state is proud of him.

“Thank you for coming. Chief Falae has served this country creditably well, and we in Ondo State are very proud of him. He left the Bank, became the minister of Finance, and also served as secretary to government of the federation. So, he has done his best and up till now when he is less busy he will find time to advise us”, the governor said.

Earlier, the former minister of Transportation thanked Governor Akeredolu for recognising and elevating Chief Olu Falae, describing him as one of the few Nigerian elites who are prominent, patriotic and had served Nigeria diligently.

“Because I campaigned for presidency, I knew Chief Olu Falae. We visited his house in Akure. So I came to visit Chief Olu Falae whom you have kindly recognised with the panel report”, he added.

Amaechi lauded Governor Akeredolu for his leadership qualities and for always being at the forefront of good governance in the country.

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