The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has debunked reports of a secret meeting between him and the G5 governors in London.
Mr Tinubu, in a statement by his aide, Tunde Rahman, on Saturday, confirmed that the APC candidate was indeed in London to rest before heading to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj but never met with the governors.
Some national dailies in Nigeria reported a meeting between Mr Tinubu and the G5 governors, comprising Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde (Oyo,) Okieze Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) in London.
These governors are demanding the resignation of the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition for supporting the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
They are demanding the replacement of Mr Ayu with a southerner to balance the leadership structure of the party.
Messrs Ayu and Atiku are both from the north.
Some of the reports claimed that the aggrieved PDP governors and Mr Tinubu reached an agreement on possible alliance ahead of the presidential race.
Mr Wike, the leader of the G5 group, has already debunked the reports shortly after he returned to the country on Friday.
The news of a possible alliance between the two parties could have political consequences for members of the ruling party in states like Rivers, Benue, and Oyo State, where the ruling party has strong candidates.
In August, the two parties met in London to discuss possible collaboration ahead of 2023.
Tinubu free to meet with anyone
While denying the report, Mr Rahman said the reports were “published to advance the political interests of the writers and their sponsors.”
He, however, added that Mr Tinubu is at liberty to meet with any group to advance his ambition.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Mr Rahman said the former Lagos governor will return to the country in two days.
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