Tinubu meets G5 govs as Peter Mbah presses for Kanu’s release
• Akwa Ibom gov visits president, says politics over
President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, met with members of the defunct G-5, including Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and current Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Created in November 20, 2022, the G5 (also known as Integrity Group) is considered to have been friendly with President Tinubu, as well as contributed to his victory in the February 2023 presidential election.
Reason for the visit is yet to be made known.
However, it is believed that Makinde and the other former governors would be seeking to take advantage of their cordial relationship with the President to further their personal political fortunes.
In a brief chat with newsmen afterwards, Makinde said the group came to intimate the President on happenings. He did not elaborate.
He said: “Nation building is a very difficult task. You have to keep evaluating…know what you’re doing, where you’re going. So, we have to keep seeing the President, to let him know what is happening. We also came to let the President know what we stood for – fairness, justice and equity.”
On new focus of the G-5, he said: “We are going towards Mr. President, you know, coming with us on the route for fairness, for justice and for equity in Nigeria.”
Recall that Makinde and Wike visited the Villa a couple of times between last week and Thursday.
Before the 2023 elections, the Wike-led G5 governors had clamoured for the resignation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, shortly after a northerner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, won the party’s presidential ticket.
Some analysts have dismissed the group as a conglomeration of individuals with distinct interests rather than a common goal.
MEANWHILE, relief may soon come the way of the detained leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, as efforts are ongoing to convince Tinubu to approve his release.
Enugu State governor, Peter Mbah, was at the Villa, yesterday, where release of the self-acclaimed freedom fighter formed the crux of discussions with the President.
Briefing newsmen immediately after he met the President, Mbah disclosed that he made a number of requests, including a passionate plea to release Kanu, as part of national healing, which he said Tinubu had already begun.
He expressed optimism that the President would give favourable consideration and hearken to the request of the IPOB leader for freedom.
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State also paid a visit to Tinubu and held a meeting behind closed doors.
Speaking after the meeting, Eno, who was elected on the PDP platform declared: “Politics is over and governance has started.”
He pledged to work with the Federal Government to ensure citizens of his state reap dividends of democracy.
The governor, who was not at the President’s maiden parley with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday, made requests, which he said Tinubu promised to look into.
“We came to visit the President to congratulate him on the election and his swearing in, and to pledge our support, our commitment and our loyalty to the President and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Politics is over and governance has started. Akwa Ibom is an integral part of Nigeria and we have to work with the Federal Government to ensure Akwa Ibomites see benefits of democracy. We cannot do that if we stand apart.”
The President had, earlier, also met with Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.