REVIEW… 2023 ELECTIONS: How did PDP G5 governors fare?
In the build up to the 2023 generals elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was thrown into disarray and turmoil by five of its governors who kicked against the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The group which later became known as the G5 or the “Integrity Group”, led by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had the governors of Oyo, Abia, Enugu and Benue States, Seyi Makinde, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Samuel Ortom respectively, kicking against everything the party brought forward.
All through the electioneering campaign, the G5 governors clamoured for the Ayu’s resignation since Atiku, a fellow northerner, had won the party’s presidential ticket.
The G5 insisted that the only way they would support their party’s candidate was for the South to produce the party’s national chairman in the spirit of equity, fairness, and justice.
All attempts by the party leadership and leaders of the party to call a truce failed as the G5 made sure they stuck to their guns.
Several peace meetings and overtures at different levels within the party failed to yield any form of reconciliation for many months and while this lasted, wide speculations were made on where the governors would pitch their tents for the presidential election.
The leader of the Integrity Group, Wike, on different occasions, promised to unveil their preferred candidate, which, at the end of the day, did not materialise.
While Wike played hide and seek with his preferred candidate, though there were speculations that he was secretly supporting Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ortom openly declared his support for the Labour Party (LP), candidate, Peter Obi, while Makinde did not hide his leaning towards the APC flag bearer.
Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi, on the other hand, were going about their senatorial campaigns silently, hoping to retire to the Senate at the end of their tenures.
However, in the National Assembly elections of February 25, three of the G5 governors who were in the Senate race; Ortom, Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi, all lost their bids leaving only Makinde who was gunning for a second term as Oyo State governor who turned out to be the only direct winner from the group.
Wike, on the other hand, can also said to have come out smiling as, though he was not contesting for any position, his anointed candidate for the Rivers State governorship election, Siminialayi Fubara, emerged winner, while most members of the PDP gunning for different positions in the state have emerged victorious.
Atiku could be said to be a direct loser from the face off with the G5, as he did not get majority votes in any of the five states. If he had not called their bluff, it’s safe to say he would have got much more votes than he did in the presidential election. But wether that would have been enough for him to win the race is subject for another debate.
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Ripples Nigeria here, takes a look at how the G5 Governors fared in the 2023 general elections.
Ikpeazu’s bid to pick a ticket for the Senate to represent Abia South Senatorial district was torn to shreds when he lost out to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) who polled 49,693 to the sitting governor’s 28,422 votes.
His abysmal performance underscored his poor showing as sitting governor and showed that his alliance with the G5 was in vain. He shut himself in the foot.
Samuel Ortom, Benue governor and a vocal member of the G5, lost his bid for Benue North West Senatorial district to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Titus Zam.
Ortom who thought he would ride on the crest of his popularity in his endless fight against the PDP and the presidency, found out the hard way that his membership of the G5 was an effort in futility.
To cap it all, his party and candidate lost the governorship position in his state, as Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the governorship race in Benue State.
Another member of the G5 who lost out completely is Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State as his bid to transit to the Senate after his tenure was shattered after losing the Enugu North Senatorial district election to Okechukwu Ezea of the Labour Party, who scored 104,492 votes to Ugwuanyi’s 46,948 votes
Ugwuanyi, like his colleague in Benue, was also unable to retain the government house for his party, PDP, as Francis Nwifuru clinched it for the APC.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who was declared winner of the state gubernatorial election is the only member of the G5 governors who stood the test of time.
Despite speculations that the APC would have a smooth ride in the state, Makinde was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), defeating his closest rivals, Sen. Teslim Folarin of the APC and Adebayo Adelabu of the Accord Party.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the indefatigable leader of the G5, will stand out as the greatest winner in the fight between the group and the PDP.
Though he was not in any contest directly, Wike was able to position his governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, to secure victory, while his other preferred candidates in various positions won convincingly.
And to add to that, he is also basking in the euphoria of thwarting his party’s chances of winning the presidential election like he said he would.
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