Five beleaguered PDP governors whose prospects for re-election look bleak as the 2019 general elections draw closer have launched a last-ditch push for their political survival by scrounging around for President Muhammadu Buhari’s help. Led by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, according to Presidency sources, the five governors are lobbying APC leaders to help cut a deal with President Buhari by which the President “would help them to be re-elected in return for their support for Buhari to win the presidential election in those PDP states.”
The other PDP governors being led by Governor Emmanuel in the search for redemption are Prof Ben Ayayde of Cross River State, David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu Enugu State. A source says Emmanuel, arrowhead head of the group, has been talking to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who is Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Gov. Abudulaziz Yari, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum.
Emmanuel is reportedly pleading with both Okorcha and Yari to present the request of the five PDP governors to the President ahead of a possible face-to-face meeting. Emmanuel is said to have started mounting pressure on Okorocha and Yari right here in Nigeria and has continued with the pressure during the ongoing trip of the President to China.
Emmanuel had earlier failed in his attempt to defect to the APC in the face of total rejection of his move by APC leaders nationally and at the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the party.
Impeccable sources say the idea of lobbying for some horse trading with President Buhari was first brought up by Governor Emmanuel, who broached it with senior officials of the Presidency last year when his relationship with his predecessor and erstwhile godfather, Senator Godswill Akpabio, became frosty. With the defection of Senator Akpabio on August 8 to the APC and the obvious rise in the electoral fortunes of the party in his state, Emmanuel sought to inject some traction into his campaign by bringing the other four PDP governors on board. Governor Emmanuel has been mandated by the group to secure an audience with President Buhari for them to present their plan.
Should the meeting hold, the governors would be dangling before the presidency the prospect of a win for President Buhari in the South South and Sout East zones, the two regions that have been the strongholds of the PDP.
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