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G-5 govs adamant, set for Makinde campaign

There are signs on Monday that moves by the Akwa Ibom State Lead representative, Udom Emmanuel, to convince abused People groups Leftist faction lead representatives to embrace harmony have fizzled.

Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State, and Emmanuel had a recent meeting; and Nyesom Wike, his counterpart in Rivers State, in Port Harcourt as part of efforts to convince the enraged governor to back PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

The PUNCH learned that the meeting was the governor’s last-minute attempt to persuade his counterparts to give peace a chance, despite Emmanuel’s description of it as a Christmas-themed brotherly visit.

As the aggrieved governors were scheduled to visit Ibadan on Thursday for the inauguration of their Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde’s campaign, this came to light on Monday.

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After Atiku, a northerner, secured the PDP’s presidential nomination, Wike, Ortom, Makinde Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and a few political heavyweights from the South parted ways with the party’s presidential candidate for his alleged inability to persuade PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu to resign.

The governors insisted that Ayu’s resignation would ensure that the main opposition party’s leadership was balanced.

The five aggrieved governors’ decision to reject the party’s presidential candidate was irreversible, according to an associate of the Benue State governor who shared this information with The PUNCH.

The Presidential Campaign Council is led by Emmanuel.

However, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, a close friend of Ortom stated that the governor of Akwa Ibom State had previously met with his counterpart in Benue State in Makurdi. During that meeting, Ortom’s counterpart promptly informed his visitor that it was no longer possible to collaborate with Atiku.

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“Governor Ortom told him that Atiku had burned his bridges,” he stated. Additionally, he advised him to meet with the other four governors who make up the Integrity Group and stated that there was nothing he could do on his own.

“As chairman of that council, Udom Emmanuel intervened because the PCC is aware of the governors’ significance in relation to elections. He got to Port Harcourt via this.

“I am unable to speak for Wike, but Governor Ortom assured him that he would not campaign against Atiku or for him. He also said he wouldn’t stop anyone in the state who wanted to campaign for the former Vice President.

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In the meantime, the five governors will attend Makinde’s second-term campaign rally on Thursday in Ibadan, the state capital of Oyo.

According to a source at the PDP’s national secretariat in Wadata Plaza, all five governors have committed to attending the event.

Now you know that they are more than just coworkers. Everyone is affected by what affects one person. They stand in solidarity with whoever is commemorating a special occasion. Wike, the group’s leader, will be present alongside the others as usual.

Even though they are PDP members, they conduct their campaigns as though they belong to a different party. They are in their very own universe, riding because of their leader powers to challenge the blustering of the party,” he said.

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