Hurdles before G5 governors as Tinubu compiles a ministerial list
The group of rebellious five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections are finding it extremely difficult to make President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial list despite their lobbies to become part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government that most of them did not contribute anything to the party’s presidential victory.
Though one of the then five Governors is still incumbent, the rest four are presently without any job, with three of them losing out completely in their senatorial ambition and were unable to produce a successor that would have been cushioning the effect of stepping down from their Golan Heights after eight years of wielding influence.
Apart from the former Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, who fought towards the end of the election to work for Tinubu, the other three ex-Governors of Benue, Enugu and Abia states failed woefully to ensure that Tinubu won the presidential election. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, from day one made it open to work for Tinubu and delivered his state to the APC in the presidential election, while he also won for his return ticket in the PDP.
President Tinubu had said that he would consider for ministerial appointments, former Governors who lost elections and could not produce successors. Two of the G5 Governors, Samuel Ortom of Benue and Okezie Ikpezu of Abia fail into this category, while ex-Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state produced a successor in the PDP, despite his being rejected for Senate by his people.
For ex-Governor Wike, he wants to remain in the PDP even if he is given a ministerial slot in the APC government. That gives him a slim chance, coupled with the fact that the APC stakeholders frown at his fraternity with President Tinubu. Wike is said to be harbouring 2027 presidential ambition, while the Rivers state chapter of the APC has already made a disclaimer on Wike’s ministerial ambition, noting that Wike as a minister would mean end to the APC in Rivers state.
In Abia state, influential APC stalwarts in the state such as Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Ikechi Emenike and Uche Ogar are no pushovers to allow Okezie Ikpeazu who never worked for President Tinubu, nor gave the APC any breathing space during the elections. It would therefore be extremely difficult for President Tinubu to nominate Ikpeazu as minister.
In Benue state, former Governor Ortom had publicly said that he did not want any appointment even when he lost his senatorial bid and also failed to produce a successor. Ortom had during the elections said that he preferred Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour party other than the presidential candidates in the PDP or APC. His own chance of becoming a minister has therefore been foreclosed earlier than now.
In Enugu state, former Governor Ugwuanyi is known for neither being here nor there but is now hiding under the canopy of G5 governors to secure an appointment, but he produced a successor who can take care of him. His meandering nature makes it difficult for him to be trusted with such a critical position, more so when he is being accused of lack of performance as a governor and as a legislator. It is therefore doubtful, his people say, that he will perform as a Minister.
Other hurdles before Ugwuanyi are the lack of relationship between the APC and the PDP in Enugu state. With the fictionalisation of the APC in the state, it’s also difficult for President Tinubu to take definite stand on any of the members of the APC in the state, but the viable option it was reported, is between Sen. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and Dr. Josef Onoh who during the campaign period was Tinubu’s spokesman in the south east.
Onoh has already been touted as Tinubu’s possible nominee for a minister from Enugu state. He belongs to neither of the factions in APC and has been a registered member of the APC at Ngwo Asa ward of Enugu west senatorial district since last year when he was denied governorship nomination by Ugwuanyi. It was learnt that his name is among the list submitted to the DSS for security check.
Onoh has been visible, fearless in counters to the IPOB/ESN menace in the south east. He is diplomatic and tactical in his statements and has close ties with President Tinubu since his late father, His Excellency Chief C.C Onoh, was a member of the NADECO. He is not associated with political scandals, but more importantly his outstanding performances in all his political appointments stand him out. He is young and his ability to perform is not doubt.
In Oyo state, it is expected that Governor Makinde will nominate a minister given his delivery of Tinubu in the state. He was the only member of the G5 Governor that was categorical on the choice of Tinubu when his colleagues waivered.
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