The term “G5 Governors” have been popping on Nigeria’s political universe for months now and even gained intensity recently, with the collective about to make a decision on who they might support in the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
Who Are The G5 Governors?
“G5” is the abbreviation for a group of five, The other part is fairly self-explanatory – standing for the governors of the collective, which is also self-styled the “Integrity Group.” Whether the group has integrity is debatable, but it stands out still.
It should, perhaps, given the influence of its members, who are all governors. All five are members of the Peoples Democratic Party but have broken ranks with the national leadership of the party for not honouring what they called the agreement to return power to the South.
All five are miffed that Atiku had emerged as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election, and they insisted that the party’s chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, must resign and his position taken by a southerner for there to be peace in the PDP.
So far, their conditions have not been met by the party, which only conceded to Ayu might leave after Atiku might have won the election next year. Of course, the G% isn’t buying into that.
The G% Governors comprise Nyesom Wike of Rivers State (the de facto leader), Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
Meeting the G5 Governors
In Nigeria, governors wield immense power and influence, ad the G5 Governors are no different. Some political analysts think they are in a position to tilt the presidential election in favour of one of the candidates.
In contrast, some insist the G5 Governors might not be as powerful as many assume, since a wave of political enlightenment is currently sweeping across Nigeria and the governors can’t possibly force anyone to vote for their preferred and might not be successful at rigging with the new electoral law and BVAS in place.
He is the governor of Rivers state and leader of the voice of rebellion encapsulated in G5. Of the five governors, he was the only one who contested the PDP primaries. He lost to Atiku.
The prevailing opinion after his loss was that Atiku would pick him as his vice president. The support for Wike becoming the vice presidential candidate was enormous, with many stating that it would be a winning ticket.
But Atiku opted for Ifeanyi Okow, the current governor of Delta state. And there, according to many analysts, was where the trouble began. Governor Wike began exhibiting tendencies that showed he wouldn’t be supporting Atiku in 2023, even though a tweet (unsigned by him) indicated he would support anyone who won the PDP ticket.
He is the governor of Oyo state and one of the few public officers who actually enjoy goodwill from the public. Such is the love for the man that many say he should succeed Peter Obi after he shall have won the election next year and served two terms.
He is loved for his humane and considerate spirit, as well as his developmental strides.
He heads Benue state but is not as loved as Seyi Makinde. With Benue plagued sporadically by herdsmen terrorism, all eyes are on Ortiom to see whether he would support Tinubu of the APC, a party that has apparently exacerbated the restless run of herdsmen in his state.
He comes with an easy smile, but many Abians are already exasperated with his stewardship. As far as most of them are concerned, he has failed as a governor and merely watches as the tongues of decay lap up his state and infrastructures go to seed.
His stature gives him an imposing presence, but the people of Enugu are not too impressed with his government. He is the second southeast governor in the band of rebellion – and more than bold to be.
The G5 Governors and the London Meeting
Governors Wike, Ugwuanyi, Makinde, Ortom and Ikpeazu had a much-publicized meeting in London where, according to sources, they would decide who to support for the 2023 presidential election.
In some quarters, expectations were high about the outcome of the meeting, with many wondering who they might vote for after their convergence. Interestingly, lips have been sealed so far, with none of the governors commenting publicly on what decisions they might have reached.
Who Will the G5 Governors Support? Tinubu? Peter Obi?
While the governors have not stated who they are supporting yet, voices from their camps – read as some of their supporters – have been dropping permutations on who their choice might be.
Some sources insist the G5 Governors will support Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC and have already reached an understanding.
What many had not considered is that supporting Tinubu would rubbish their claims of integrity because they had initially opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket (symbolised by Tinubu and Shettima). So they are in a semblance of a dilemma.
Also. Governor Wike had promised logistical support for Peter Obi’s presidential bid. Would he now back down and support Tinubu? That would also put to question his claims on integrity as the leader of the G5 Governors
But given that Nigerian politicians rarely put the collective or national interest first, and are mostly unscrupulous in their decisions, they might end up opting for Tinubu.
And yes, they might endorse Peter Obi – all or some of them. No one is prescient to say with certainty.
A byzantine opaque sorcery is unravelling.