Home Column 2023: The Political Permutations of the G-5 governors

2023: The Political Permutations of the G-5 governors

By Yusuf Danjuma Yunus

On the 27th of December, 2022, the G-5 governors who also nicknamed themselves as the ‘Integrity Group’ went on yet another trip to strategize for a tilt toward any of the presidential candidates but Atiku Abubakar.

The Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, has, on the 22nd of December, 2022, announced that his preferred presidential candidate will be revealed to the people in January. He also added that he will campaign for him.

Recounting the genesis of their tussle with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and the party chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the Integrity Group {as they call themselves} ruled that for Atiku Abubakar to gain their support for the 2023 race, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu should relinquish his position as the party chairman. The demand arises after the loss of Wike’s presidential ambition and a futile Vice Presidential slot.

Keeping the ball rolling, and having gotten to the boiling point, the integrity group has embarked on another trip to London in order to deliberate and pick, unanimously, who they should rally and campaign for in the 2023 race.

In suspense, people have started foretelling who, amongst the presidential candidates, will have the endorsement of the G-5 governors. Undoubtedly, Atiku Abubakar is not in the list of the candidates who stand to be endorsed due to the show of rancor betwixt the both camps.

Having ruled out Atiku Abubakar, these candidates: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Peter Obi, and Kwankwaso stand the chance of being endorsed. What are their chances? I will begin with Peter Obi.

The Chances of Peter Obi becoming the President of the federation is very slim, and to make an attribution of the endorsement of the Integrity Group to him is just as ridiculing the political permutations prowess of Wike and co. One thing is certain; and it’s the fact that the G-5 governors will never, unanimously, endorse an apparent certify loser.

Albeit, the almighty political unskilled fellow amongst them, Samuel Ortom, may end up endorsing Peter Obi due to a verbal appraisal of the latter done by the former lately. If otherwise, then it is likely to be influenced by Wike. Because, at the time of penning down this, an unconfirmed report has it that three of the five governors have endorsed Tinubu while others endorsed their kinsman leaving Kwankwaso with nothing. If the report should be confirmed as circulated, then Tinubu has gained the support of Wike, Makinde, and Ortom.

One could be curious as to why the other two governors endorsed Obi {that’s if it happens} despite the fact that he’s not going to win.

In the politicking of Nigeria, ethno-religious mindset has been the method. So it could be deduced that the method is the invisible tool derived in making the endorsement not minding the fact that their kinsman doesn’t stand any chance of winning the 2023 election.

Let me make a recount of president Buhari’s political journey of 2011. The political journey in which the euphoria was largely recognized only in the north. Buhari was accepted widely in the north and that made him to think of winning the presidential election against Jonathan. The south and the east were less engaged in the political euphoria. But after his loss, he then strategize again in 2014 with the engagement of the south and the east, and he won the 2015 election.

The same question of acceptability is noticed with Peter Obi and Kwankwaso. While the former is not even largely accepted by the east which is his territory, the latter is accepted in the north. The duo should make a stronger come-back in the next general election.

Making a deduction from the 2011and 2015 general election experience of Buhari on the three possible candidates to be endorsed, Tinubu is the only one who stands out. Unlike the two discussed above, Tinubu is a politician who knows his onions. He has a substantial structure in all the zones across the nation. The questions like: ‘when’ and ‘how’ are never left out in the political dictionary of Tinubu. It was gathered by Daily Trust Newspaper that Tinubu has also jet out of the country to London a day after Wike and co left. This should send a signal to the thinking of any sane being that Tinubu is a hard nut to crack.

We shouldn’t forget that the person to be endorsed by the G-5 governors, especially Wike, has to be someone that’s capable of defeating Atiku. Wike is not out there for a child’s play. In his words on the 22nd of December, 2022, Wike said that he will reveal his candidate to the people of Rivers in the month of January, campaign for that candidate and nothing will happen.

In what could be termed as a disrespect to the party {see finish 😂} from the actions of the G-5 governors, the Peoples Democratic Party may consider the suspension of the governors from the party and the dissolution of the party’s structure in the states. If that happens, Wike has nothing to lose. Those who would suffer such punishment are the remaining governors. Ikpeazu, Uguanyi and Ortom are running for Senate on the party’s platform while Makinde is seeking for re-election. In all, I see that the fight is going to be tough for the four.

Wike is just out there for his political gains. Makinde would support Tinubu on the ethnicity basis while Ortom is ever ready for Wike’s order.

Another interesting aspect of this politicking is the fact that Amaechi and Wike aren’t in good terms. How would they co-exist if Wike endorses Tinubu?

Yusuf Danjuma Yunus is a student of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He can be reached via: yunusand82@gmail.com or @YYunusand on Twitter