It is not the best of times for five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) known as the G5 as three of the ‘Integrity Group’ failed in their quests to cross over to the Senate after their two-term tenure of eight years each.
The G5 is made up of five PDP governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
The five governors formed an alliance after the party’s presidential primary in May 2022, to demand that the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu step down for a southern replacement as a precondition to support the presidential ambition of the party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar in the February 25 poll. Both Atiku and Ayu called the governors’ bluff and did not succumb to their demands in the just-concluded elections.
For the presidential election, Atiku lost in all the G5 states while Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi won Enugu and Abia, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) raked in Oyo, Benue and Rivers. Of the G5, Ortom, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi and Wike are two-term governors while Makinde is a single-term governor who is contesting the March 11, 2023 governorship poll and hopes to return to office for another four years.
Interestingly, Ortom, Ikpeazu, and Ugwuanyi attempted to cross over to the Senate which has been described as a ‘retirement home’ for former governors but the trio lost their senatorial bid in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
With the defeat of three of his comrades, all eyes are now on Makinde come March 11. Would he pull through and break the chain of defeat suffered in the G5? Only time will tell.