Five incumbent state governors and high-ranking stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria have formed an alliance named the G5/ Integrity group. The G5 Governors include Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Other stakeholders reportedly involved with the alliance include former governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State; Donald Duke of Cross River State; and Jonah Jang of Plateau, etc.
State of play
The G5 have failed to provide support to the presidential aspiration of the PDP’s flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, until the party removes the controversial party National chairman, Chief Iyorchia Ayu.
- The party leader has since the primaries faced allegations bordering fraud, breach of agreement, and injustice.
- With the intensity of this internal crisis, Atiku is not assured of the backing of five incumbent PDP governors, leaving him with the endorsement of only eight out of the thirteen member governors.
Why this matter
Election is a game of numbers. And as such, the absence of the support of the G5 members makes Atiku’s path more difficult. Here is why;
Imo and Enugu State are the only two states held by PDP governors going into the 2023 presidential elections. The two state governors, having distanced themselves from the party’s presidential campaigns, are establishing a neutral terrain for other political parties to compete for. What’s worse for the PDP is that the region is producing an indigenous presidential candidate in Mr Peter Obi, who is favored in the region and other parts of the country.
Before Seyi Makinde of Oyo State distanced himself from Atiku’s presidential campaign, PDP held the gubernatorial position in just one state of the six southwestern states. Like the southeast region, the southwestern region has a native representation in Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu vying to be Nigeria’s next President. This means that Atiku’s major support base could be projectively limited to the south south region and northeast alone.
The big picture
With a little over three months to the presidential elections, the G5 have expressed openness to reconciliatory efforts by party leaders. In fact, at their last meeting in Lagos, the former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang said, “we hereby again reiterate that the window for reconciliation in our great party, the PDP remains open.”
G5 state governors and their allies have not been seen campaigning for Atiku. Contrary to rumors, neither have they declared support for either the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, nor APC’s Tinubu.