By Marvellous Nyang
President Bola Tinubu has hosted Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, immediate past governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, to a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.
The trio, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), arrived at the Villa at about 4:20 p.m. on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Recalled both Makinde and Wke were members of the G5, a group of five PDP governors which also had former Benue State governor Samuel Ortom; Okezie Ikpeazu, former governor of Abia; and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, immediate past governor of Enugu, as members.
Ibori, who had since left office, a served his term as governor when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.
The G5 governors fell out with the PDP leadership after Atiku Abubakar won the party’s presidential ticket, against their clamour for the PDP to zone its presidential ticket to southern Nigeria. It was on this notion they opposed his presidential bid, as they said it was against their agreement to zone the Presidency to the south.
Later on, the G5 governors also asked Iyorchia Ayu to step down as the national chairperson of the PDP, but this fell into his deaf ears until after the presidential election that had produced Tinubu as the country’s leader.
But among the G5 governors, Makinde won reelection as governor in Oyo, Sim Fubara, the preferred candidate of Wike, who has completed his constitutional two terms in office, won the election to succeed him as Rivers governor, while three others, Ortom, Ikpeazu, and Ugwuanyi, failed in their bids to secure senatorial seats.
Top of all, recalled March 1, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu as the winner of the election with 8,794,726 votes.
After thanking all who contributed to his victory, Tinubu, during a visit to Rivers State in May, specially acknowledged the support of Wike, saying he could not have won without him.
“I went through a gruesome campaign, fought hard, supported by many of you and I won. Fair and square. Nyesom, I say thank you for your contribution to my victory.
“I couldn’t have done it without some structural support you gave me which I can’t describe (repay) in my honouring of your invitation to commission this flyover,” Tinubu said during a visit to Rivers.