G5 governors face challenges as Tinubu crafts a ministerial roster

The five rebellious 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, despite the fact that the majority of them did not contribute anything to the party’s presidential victory.

Though one of the then-five Governors is still in office, the other four are currently unemployed, with three of them failing completely in their senatorial ambitions and failing to produce a successor who would have cushioned the impact of stepping down from their Golan Heights after eight years of wielding power.

Apart from Nyesom Wike, the former Governor of Rivers state, who fought for Tinubu near the end of the election, the other three ex-Governors of Benue, Enugu, and Abia states all failed miserably to assure Tinubu won the presidential election. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state made it clear from the start that he wanted to work for Tinubu and gave his state to the APC in the presidential election, while simultaneously winning the PDP’s return ticket.

Former Governors who lost elections and were unable to produce successors would be considered for ministerial jobs, according to President Tinubu. Two of the G5 Governors, Samuel Ortom of Benue and Okezie Ikpezu of Abia, fall under this category, while ex-Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi created a successor in the PDP despite being rejected for Senate by his people.

Even if he is offered a ministerial position in the APC government, ex-Governor Wike wishes to remain in the PDP. That, combined with the APC stakeholders’ disapproval of his friendship with President Tinubu, offers him a little chance. Wike is rumored to be considering running for president in 2027, while the Rivers state branch of the APC has already stated that Wike as a minister would spell the end of the APC in the state.

In Abia state, powerful APC veterans such as Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Ikechi Emenike, and Uche Ogar are no pushovers for Okezie Ikpeazu, who has never worked for President Tinubu and has never given the APC any breathing space during the elections. As a result, President Tinubu’s nomination of Ikpeazu as minister would be extremely difficult.

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Former Governor Ortom of Benue state had publicly stated that he did not desire any appointment, even after losing his senatorial bid and failing to produce a successor. During the elections, Ortom stated that he preferred Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party over the presidential candidates of the PDP and APC. As a result, his personal opportunity to become a minister has been snuffed out earlier than expected.

Former Governor Ugwuanyi of Enugu state is renowned for not being here or there but is now hiding under the umbrella of G5 governors to obtain an appointment, yet he produced a successor who can take care of him. His meandering personality makes it impossible for him to be trusted with such an important job, especially given his lack of success as governor and legislator. As a result, his supporters are skeptical that he will function well as a Minister.

Other obstacles in Ugwuanyi’s path include a schism between the APC and the PDP in Enugu state. With the fictionalisation of the APC in the state, it is also difficult for President Tinubu to take a definite stand on any of the APC members in the state, but the viable option, it was reported, is between Sen. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and Dr. Josef Onoh, who was Tinubu’s spokesman in the south east during the campaign period.

Onoh has already been mentioned as Tinubu’s likely contender for Enugu state minister. He is not affiliated with any of the APC factions and has been a registered member of the APC in Enugu West senatorial district’s Ngwo Asa ward since last year, when he was rejected Ugwuanyi’s governorship nomination. His name was discovered to be on a list submitted to the DSS for a security check.

Onoh has been visible and bold in confronting the IPOB/ESN threat in the south east. His words are diplomatic and tactical, and he has close relations with President Tinubu because his late father, His Excellency Chief C.C Onoh, was a member of the NADECO. He is not linked with any political scandals, but his remarkable performances in all of his political appointments set him apart. He is still young, and his ability to perform is undeniable.

Given Tinubu’s delivery in the state, Governor Makinde is anticipated to nominate a minister in Oyo state. When his colleagues wavered, he was the only member of the G5 Governors who was adamant about Tinubu’s selection.

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