BOLA Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to claims that he met with some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), known as G-5 Governors in London to seek their support ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu, in a release on Saturday by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, said he is entitled to meet “any political actor or stakeholder that is important to his campaign and plans for the country and that desires to engage with him.”
The five governors in contention are; Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
The G5 are among PDP stakeholders who have been at the forefront of calls for Iyorchia Ayu to step down as PDP national chairman in the interest of “equity”.
The calls for Ayu’s resignation, which are said to be based on the fact that the PDP presidential candidate and national chair cannot be from the same region, have sparked a crisis within the party.
The G5 governors have also ruled out campaigning for PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Earlier on Friday, while speaking at the inauguration of a project in Rivers, Wike confirmed that he was in London but refused to confirm or deny whether he met with Tinubu.
He, on the other hand, accused Abubakar of meeting with APC governors, adding that the G5 governors were free to do whatever they wanted.
Reacting to the report on Saturday, Tinubu’s spokesman said the report of Tinubu meeting with the PDP governors was ill-motivated for political reasons.
The statement reads: “As usual with him when a year is coming to an end to take time off his busy schedules, take a little rest and proceed to Saudi Arabia to observe Umrah (Lesser Hajj), Bola Ahmed Tinubu was in London during the week en route Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
“While in the United Kingdom, Asiwaju Tinubu noted some articles in some national newspapers in Nigeria, alleging a secret meeting was held in London between him and the G-5 governors who are members of Peoples Democratic Party.
“These reports, to say the least, are not only in bad faith but also evil intentioned. They were published to advance the political interests of the writers and their sponsors.
“The Presidential Standard-bearer of the All Progressives Congress, Tinubu, is neither bothered by these articles nor by their sponsors who are well known. He is resolutely focused on his campaign objectives which are geared towards achieving victory in the upcoming presidential election in order to deliver the APC’s Action Plan aimed at giving a Renewed Hope to our people in all facets of their lives.
“But we must point out that the APC candidate is entitled to meeting any political actor or stakeholder that is important to his campaign and plans for the country and that desires to engage with him.”
Rahman added that Tinubu arrived London on December 26, spent a few days there, and “has now proceeded to Mecca where he is at present observing Umrah”.
The APC candidate is expected in the country “within the next two days to continue with the campaign.”
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