Wike Rules Out Any Last-Minute Deal With Atiku- Says Integrity G5 Stands
With a few days to the February 25 presidential election, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has ruled out any last-minute deal or truce between the G5 and the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The governor also said he is not ready to sit with any member of Atiku’s camp to broker peace between the G5 or the Integrity Group and the national leadership of the party led by Iyorchia Ayu.
Wike, in a media chat on Thursday morning, also said he owes nobody an apology to have hosted the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu in Port Harcourt after the latter’s rally in the state on Wednesday.
Asked about the possibility of a last-minute deal with Atiku, Wike said, “No, we can’t do that; it’s over! We have said it and there is nothing anybody can do about it now. They believe they can win the election. I am not ready to sit down with anybody again.”Wike, a member of the G5, has not been on talking terms with Atiku since the party’s presidential primary last May.
The G5 is made up of five aggrieved governors of the PDP in southern Nigeria including Wike, Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
The five governor have been consistent in their demand that Ayu step down as PDP national chairman as a precondition for them to support the 2023 presidential ambition of Atiku. The G5 has been quiet of late but Wike said the group is not dead. According to him, the group has its own strategies and “not all of us will do the talking. That others are quiet does not mean we are not together”.
“We know what all of us have agreed,” the governor noted but did not disclose which of the other 17 presidential candidates the group would support in next week’s election. A member of the G5 and governor of Enugu State (Ugwuanyi) had on Tuesday received Atiku at the Government House in the state capital but was not present at the rally of the PDP presidential candidate.
Commenting on the rally, Wike said receiving Atiku does not mean that Ugwuanyi had deserted the G5.
“Even before Enugu governor received him (Atiku) in Government House, we knew about it.
“We cannot tell you the approach. Forget about what people are saying, the 25th is here. Everybody will see it,” Wike said.