G-5 draws the line, says too late to reconcile with PDP

Any hopes of last minute reconciliation between the G-5 (five governors led by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State) and the national leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have evaporated.

This not only because the PDP flagbearer Atiku Abubakar has said Wike has crossed the red line, or that Wike has officially hosted the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer with his entire team in Government House, Port Harcourt, but because Gov Wike has declared that it is too late to make peace.

Wike said in Port Harcourt a day after his meeting with Tinubu that the G-5 governors have crossed the rubicon, and were no longer disposed to brokering any peace with national leadership of the party.

Wike explained that contrary to insinuations that the G-5 governors were working at cross-purposes, the group, has remained intact and their impact would be felt in the aftermath of the 25th February presidential election.

The governor, who made this assertion during a media chat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Thursday, said no G-5 governor has so far attended the PDP presidential campaign in their respective States.

“Even before Enugu governor received him (Atiku) in Government House, we knew about it. We cannot tell you the approach. Forget about what people are saying, the 25th is here. Everybody will see it.

“We can’t do that again. It’s over. We have said it and there is nothing anybody can do about it now. They believe that they have won election, so they don’t need us. I am not ready to sit down again with anybody.”

He said those who have chosen to ignore the G-5 and other members of the Integrity Group will soon realise their grave mistake after the 25th February.

Wike, who said he has no apology for hosting Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, declined to mention his preferred presidential candidate.

He said PDP leaders in Rivers State have already taken a position on whom the State will vote for and that decision has been communicated to party stalwarts and supporters ahead of next week election.

The Rivers State governor reiterated that he will never leave the PDP, and boasted that he remained one of the most relevant members of the party.

Speaking on the decision of the PDP not to hold its presidential campaign in Rivers State, the governor said members of Presidential Campaign Council in the State lack honour and are devious.

According to him, after collecting money from some governors to organise the presidential rally, the PCC members who apparently lack capacity to mobilise crowd, decided to cook up an outlandish conspiracy theory of insecurity in the State.

Speaking on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast on Thursday, the governor said his insistence that the old N500 and N1000 note ceased to be a legal tender is tantamount to interference with pending lawsuit in the Supreme Court.

Gov Wike stressed that the president’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reintroduce only the old N200 note into the economy is an affront on the Supreme Court.

The Rivers State governor expressed dismay that the president who ideally should be the epitome of rule of law, has regrettably taken deliberate steps to undermine the integrity of the Supreme Court, whose interim injunction on the naira swap matter is still subsisting.

“As far as I am concerned, this is a complete interference, which is not good or our democracy.”

Read also: Tinubu is no Abiola and Atiku is no Tofa

The governor said it is hypocritical for the federal government to propose out of court settlement with aggrieved States, while at the same time undermining the outcome of the pending suit in Supreme Court.

Gov Wike insisted that the interim order issued by the Supreme Court is still subsisting and must be respected by the federal government to the letter.

“Until that is done there is nothing anybody can do about it. The issue of N200 naira in circulation is neither here nor there. If they had pulled out of court then the president could come in. Having not pulled out of court and the interim order still subsist, we should obey it to the letter.”

He maintained that the federal government’s claim that the naira redesign policy will curb corruption and vote-buying is not tenable. According to him, the timing of the naira swap policy smacks of politics.

Wike said he cannot fathom how a policy which the federal government claim is intended to help the Nigerian economy, has now turned out to be its albatross.