Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose says members of the G5 or Integrity Group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be appreciated by President Bola Tinubu for the role they played in his victory at the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Fayose, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme, said ex-Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has what it takes to be a minister and “must serve” in the Tinubu’s government.
He said the G5 has no intention of crossing over from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but maintained that the PDP leadership must put its house in order.
“The former governor of Benue (Samuel Ortom) is the oldest by his age. If he is still decamping, his children must disown him. The Wike I know, forget that Wike will leave the PDP,” Fayose said.
The G5 is made up of four PDP ex-governors — Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Nyesom Wike (Rivers) as well as one current governor, Seyi Makinde (Oyo).
‘Asiwaju Needs A Man Like Wike’
On the possibility of Wike being in Tinubu’s cabinet, Fayose said, “What is wrong with that? How is anybody affected by that? I don’t want to be minister but if Asiwaju (Tinubu) says ‘Fayose, you will be minister’ and I agree, what is their headache?”
“I want Wike to be in cabinet. Wike has what it takes to serve Nigeria. Wike is an articulate, capacity person. Nigeria needs (an) average bad person. I support Wike. If Asiwaju finds him or any of the G5 worthy, please serve in Asiwaju’s government.
“I will be disappointed if Asiwaju does not equally appreciate them for what they stand to represent. Wike must serve. Wike is still a young man. I’m his senior brother, he can’t deny that. Wike is an asset to Nigeria. Wike is never timid, he confronts challenges. Asiwaju needs a man like Wike.”
Wait For Ministerial List
Tinubu, who assumed office as Nigeria’s President on May 29, 2023, constitutionally has 60 days to form his cabinet and there have been reports that he would include some members of the opposition like Wike and New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s flag bearer, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
In the buildup to the February 25 presidential poll, Wike, who lost the PDP primary to his party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar in May 2022, was unapologetically vocal about his opposition to the 2023 presidential ambition of the former Vice-President.
Wike, who was a minister under the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was Rivers governor from May 2015 to May 2023.
Wike and his allies in the G5 had demanded that the then PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu step down for a southern replacement as a precondition to support Atiku. Both Atiku and Ayu called the governors’ bluff and did not succumb to their demands in the just-concluded elections.
For the presidential election, Atiku lost in all the G5 states while Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi won Enugu and Abia, APC’s Tinubu raked in Oyo, Benue and Rivers.
Tinubu came out tops in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival, Atiku.
Atiku, 76, who has now run for president six times, got 6,984,520 votes, while Obi, who, in less than a year, galvanised young voters in a manner some have described as unprecedented finished the race with 6,101,533.