- Makinde, Wike receive Tinubu in respective States
Barely one week to the presidential elections, there appears to be no hope of reconciliation between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the influential Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesome Wike.
Only Wednesday, Wike played host to Tinubu, who is the rival party’s presidential candidate, whereas, the PDP had to cancel Atiku’s scheduled campaign rally in Rivers State, citing fear of attack or violence.
Meanwhile, a member of the Integrity Group and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has declared that the people of the state will vote for a presidential candidate whose election will promote equity, justice and unity of Nigeria.
The Oyo Governor spoke on Thursday when he received the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, who paid a courtesy call to him on the sidelines of the party’s campaign rally in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Governors, operating under the name PDP G-5 governors or Integrity Group, are Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
In Ibadan on Thursday, Makinde urged Tinubu to feel free to campaign in the state, saying everything had been done to ensure the event was peaceful and hitch-free.
He said his administration believed in putting people first, stating that “political players will come and go, but the country will remain.”
Speaking on the position of the G-5 and the challenges rocking the PDP leadership, Makinde said, “If they (G-5) have to choose between their individual aspiration and the unity of the country, they will choose Nigeria’s unity.”
He stated that the Integrity Group monitored the APC presidential primary that produced Tinubu as candidate, and commended the position taken by the northern governors.
“There has to be inclusiveness by all sections of the country in power-sharing if the country must progress. If the country does not survive, how can anyone aspire to be anything in that country?” he queried.
While thanking Makinde for the warm reception, Tinubu explained that he came to accord him the respect that he deserved as the chief executive of the state.
“I cannot come to Oyo State to campaign for votes without visiting you to pay my respect to you as a governor, leader and an Omoluabi,” he said.
After his visit, the APC campaign train met with some traditional rulers from the South-west zone before proceeding to Mapo Hall where a mammoth crowd had waited for them to address the rally.
Meanwhile, Wike, in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said the G-5 governors had crossed the rubicon and were no longer disposed to brokering peace with the PDP national leadership.
Wike explained that contrary to insinuations that the G-5 governors were working at cross-purposes, the group, he maintained, had remained intact and their impact would be felt in the aftermath of the February 25 presidential election.
The governor made this assertion during a media chat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Thursday.
This was contained in a statement by his Speacial Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri.
Wike noted that none of the G-5 governors attended Atiku’s rally in their states.
He said partly, “Forget about what people are saying, the 25th is here. Everybody will see it. We can’t do that again. It’s over. We have said it and there is nothing anybody can do about it now.”
Wike, who said he had no apology for hosting Tinubu and other APC leaders in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, however, declined to mention his preferred presidential candidate.