G-5 Governors have created more problems for themselves than for Atiku — Odinkalu 

International scholar and one of the frontline human rights lawyers in Africa who is the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu has spoken on the G-5 governors’ face-off with the PDP presidential candidate and how it may affect the ambition of the PDP to unseat APC.


He stated that he is not in a position to foresee a lot of things or indeed anything, adding that it is possible that the G-5 governors are good just for noise making and wearing aso ebi.


“Let’s try and break it down. I will give Governor Nyesom Wike credit for his performance as a political actor, particularly in Rivers State. He is on the ground there and that has been to his credit, since he was Chief of Staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in 2007 and 2008 before he became a minister. So, I give him a lot of credit for his knowledge of the political grass roots in the state.


“That said, Governor Wike is not going to decide in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa or indeed in Delta or Imo states of all which are neighbouring states to Rivers how the votes will go. One state where he may have some sway is Cross River where part of the party structure is dependent on his patronage. Outside that and with due respect quite frankly, Ikpeazu is not a political factor in Abia State. He is running, by the way, to be a senator for Abia South on the ticket of the PDP.


“That means, on the same date as Atiku Abubakar, he is on the ballot and he wants to tell people to vote for one party at the top of the ticket and then vote for him at the bottom of the ticket. It will not work because that is just confusion. So, he will be shooting himself in the foot if he does that. That is very clear, quite apart from the fact that he has been abysmal as a governor.


“So, as a political force, Ikpeazu is not really anything to write home about, Governor Ugwuanyi is running for the Senate in Enugu North on the ticket of PDP and he wants to tell the same people they should vote for him and not vote for the other person in a ballot that takes place on the same day and he has not been spectacularly successful so that his record can stand him out,” he stated.


According to him “he needs his party to do it for him. So, again, that will fail. You go to Oyo State where Governor Seyi Makinde may be a little bit better than these other guys in terms of performance. But he is up against a former Senate Majority leader, a three-term senator as the candidate of the APC in the governorship in the South-West where he could be eaten up and lose his office and he is not going to be saved by the governor of Rivers State.


“So, that means he needs his party’s supporters in the state to shop up for him because he is not going to rely on the supporters of an adverse party to save him. Or are you talking of Governor Samuel Ortom who has been a bloody waste of time quite honestly and who is probably going to be losing in his effort at getting a senatorial seat in Benue North-West.


“He is in the same senatorial zone as the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who he is traducing. None of this has been particularly well-thought-out by the so-called gang of five PDP governors. Politics is not a game of aso ebi and though aso ebi may be important, when you get down to the fundamentals the so-called G-5 governors, if you take away Governor Wike, in my view, these other guys have caused themselves much more trouble.


“I am not at all surprised that now they are trying to walk both sides of the road so that they are in bed with Wike in the daytime and then trying to hobnob with Atiku at night. Of course, that does pose all manner of challenges because if they spend all their daytime and nighttime doing romance, what energy will they save up for their nighttime proclivity?


“This is really the problem they have got and these guys may actually have created more problems for themselves than they have created for Atiku. I am not at all suggesting that the governors don’t present Atiku with issues. But the issues they present to Atiku are much less than they present to themselves,” he insisted.


He added that “I don’t think that they actually fundamentally cost Atiku too much. Peter Obi, of course, does damage. But Obi is an equal opportunity damage. Obi is going to cost PDP votes in the South-East, but he is also a factor in Lagos State and nobody is claiming that PDP is likely to win Lagos State because it is Tinubu’s home state and Tinubu is likely to win Lagos State.


“But Peter Obi is a factor in Lagos State, but if Tinubu chooses to manage Obi through voter suppression, Tinubu will lose votes and if he chooses to also manage Obi head-to-head, Tinubu will still lose votes. So, Obi does not just damage PDP’s natural constituency, he also eats into APC’s too. That is just what it is in this election. It is a slightly different and unique election.election,” Odinkalu added.



(News Express)


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