FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly met in London on Thursday with Labor Party candidate Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as part of the intense horse trade in preparation for the poll.
No less than three other governors elected on the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ticket: Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, also attended the meeting.
The trio, who are close allies of Wike, were among other high-profile individuals, including a former Cross River state governor, Mr. Donald Duke, who were also at the meeting, details of which could not be released at the time of going to press Thursday. obtained.
It is the first meeting with Obasanjo, Obi and Wike since the last row with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar after he chose Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate for the general election.
However, the belief was that the deliberations were part of the armed forces’ frantic efforts to build a rainbow coalition weeks before the September 28 campaign for the country’s upcoming general election.
Obasanjo is believed to be one of the main promoters of Obi’s presidential bid, a former governor of Anambra state, for the presidency, has hosted the former governor of Anambra state at least three times at his Top Hill residence in Abeokuta, the capital. of the state of Ogun.
In July, Obasanjo hosted Obi shortly after the latter revealed his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Datti, ostensibly for the ex-president’s endorsement of the Labor Party ticket.
During a live televised interview program, Obi had said there was nothing wrong with Obasanjo advocating his bid to become the country’s next president.
Ironically, aside from recruiting a younger president in the next dispensation, Obasanjo once said that the next president should be imbued with the mental capacity to deal with economic problems.
And at a ceremony to commemorate his 85th birthday, the former leader had said some presidential aspirants should have been jailed if the anti-graft agencies had done their job properly.
“I took a cursory glance at some of the people running around and the ones people running around in front of. If the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Commission (ICPC) had done their job properly and had been adequately supported by the judiciary, most of them would have gone to prison. Anyone who does not have integrity in small things cannot have integrity in large things,” he said.
Nevertheless, the two-time Nigerian leader also hosted the flag-bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, and at one point, Atiku, his former vice, prior to his emergence as PDP’s candidate in the primary.
Meanwhile, Atiku and Wike also met in London to resolve a confrontation over some issues arising from the choice of a running mate.
It was learned that Adamawa state governor Ahmadu Fintiri was one of the PDP leaders at the reconciliation meeting.
Atiku said the Rivers governor was working on the PDP’s overall victory in next year’s general election.
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