There are signs Monday that moves by Akwa Ibom state governor Udom Emmanuel to persuade aggrieved Peoples’ Democratic Party governors to embrace peace have failed.
Emmanuel had met a few days ago with the governor of the state of Benue, Samuel Ortom; and his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt as part of efforts to appeal to the aggrieved governor to back PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
Although Emmanuel described the meeting as a fraternal visit in the spirit of Christmas, the punch he deduced that it was a last-minute attempt by the governor to convince his counterparts to give peace a chance.
This came to light on Monday when the aggrieved governors are scheduled to visit Ibadan on Thursday for the inauguration of their Oyo state counterpart, Seyi Makinde’s campaign.
Wike, Ortom, Makinde Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from Enugu state and some southern political heavyweights parted ways with the PDP presidential candidate over his alleged refusal to convince PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu to resign after Atiku. , a northerner, secured the party’s presidential ticket.
The governors insisted that Ayu’s resignation would ensure a balance in the leadership of the main opposition party.
A collaborator of the governor of the state of Benue, who trusted in the punchHe said there was no going back on the decision by the five aggrieved governors to fire the party’s presidential candidate.
Emmanuel chairs the Presidential Campaign Council.
However, speaking exclusively to our correspondent, a close Ortom confidante said that the governor of Akwa Ibom state had previously met his counterpart from Benue state in Makurdi, and the latter wasted no time in telling his visitor that he had already it was not possible to work with Atiku.
He said: “Governor Ortom told him that Atiku had burned his bridges. He also told him that he alone could not do anything and urged him to meet with the other four governors that make up the Integrity Group.
“The PCC knows the importance of governors when it comes to elections and as president of that council, Udom Emmanuel took it upon himself to intervene. This is what brought him to Port Harcourt.
“I cannot speak for Wike, but Governor Ortom assured him that while he would not campaign for Atiku, he would not campaign against him either. He also vowed not to stop anyone wishing to campaign for the former vice president in the state from doing so.”
Meanwhile, the five governors will be in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, on Thursday for Makinde’s second-term campaign launch event.
A source in Wadata Square, said the national secretariat of the PDP the punch that the five governors have promised their availability for the event.
“You know that now they are more than colleagues. What affects one affects the others. They are in solidarity with any of them who are celebrating or marking a special event. As usual, Wike, the leader of the group, will be there along with the others.
“Although they are members of the PDP, they are running their campaigns as if they had a different party. They are in a world of their own, leveraging the influence of their executive powers to uncover party deceit,” he said.