The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum has said the five aggrieved governors under the aegis of Integrity Group, were duly invited to last week’s reception for returning and newly-elected governors, which was held in Abuja.
The event, which had in attendance former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, set tongues wagging with the absence of Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde, Samuel Ortom, Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, governors of Rivers, Oyo, Benue, Abia and Enugu states, respectively.
Although the Director General of the PDP Governors’Forum, Cyril Maduabum, told that all governors elected on the platform of the party were expected to grace the occasion, the Wike-led G-5 PDP governors shun the event, which would have offered the leadership of the party an opportunity to broker peace between the aggrieved governors and Atiku.
It would be recalled that the five governors rejected all entreaties by the various organs of the party to work with Atiku as they insisted on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the then National Chairman of the party.
“We are welcoming three re-elected governors, namely, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State.
“All outgoing PDP governors, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State, will also be honoured during the ceremony for all their services to the Forum,” the invitation extended to all governors of the party read in part.
However, the G-5 governors did not show up and were not represented at the event.
Speaking exclusively with our correspondent, Maduabum said the G-5 governors gave reasons for their absence.
He said, “We invited all the governors and this was clear from the statement earlier issued. But let us not make an issue out of this.”
Asked why the Wike-led group failed to turn up, Maduabum said, “They (aggrieved governors) gave reasons for their absence. Most of these reasons include prior engagements and being out of the country at the time of the event.”
Although the absence of the five governors may have cost the forum an opportunity to bring them together with Atiku, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the party would continue to engage with its leaders including the aggrieved governors in line with the provisions of the PDP Constitution.
“I keep saying that the PDP has a way of resolving its internal affairs. We are talking with them but everything we do must be in line with the constitution of the party. Nobody is above the party and every leader must be subjected to the laws governing the running of the party,” Ologunagba said.
Also speaking, Deputy National Youth Leader of the PDP, Timothy Osadolor, said the G-5 governors remain very important to the party.
He said, “As a party, the numbers and quality of the persons we have count. There is no denying the fact that any political party that wants to succeed needs people to do so. However, it becomes a problem for the party when these persons are working at cross purposes.
“It is an open secret that the then G-5 governors worked against the fortunes of the PDP and didn’t care that they too will become casualties, as they have all become, save for the Oyo man. Of the five, only one won election.
“The only thing they still have going for them is the high concentration of bile that they share towards the party. The party is speaking with them and it is good but personally, I don’t see any point in trying to pet a snake to put in your pocket, when you know you will never have sleep with its presence.
“It is safe to wish them good bye, save for Makinde, who all through the process, maintained a high level of maturity,” he added.