Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to the recent reports on an alleged meeting involving some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There have been reports over the past days that the G5 governors — five PDP governors — recently met with Tinubu in London, and agreed to endorse him.
The G5 — which includes Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu — 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, said to be on the grounds that the PDP presidential candidate and national chair cannot be from the same region, have created a crisis in the party.
The G5 governors have also excluded themselves from campaigning for Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.
Earlier on Friday, while speaking at a project inauguration in Rivers, Wike affirmed that he was in London but refused to confirm or deny if any meeting with Tinubu was held.
He, however, accused Abubakar of meeting with APC governors, adding that the G5 governors are free to do what they want.
Speaking on the alleged meeting in a statement on Saturday, Tunde Rahman, media aide to Tinubu, said the APC candidate is not bothered by the reports.
“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), HE Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was in London during the week en route Mecca, Saudi Arabia,” the statement reads.
“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, HE Asiwaju 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”.
“We would like to use this opportunity to advise those writing unsubstantiated articles and peddling rumours on him to desist forthwith,” Rahman added.