By Uche Amunike.
Chief Ambrose Okechukwu Ahiwe, who was the former Chief-of-Staff to Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has just emerged the Abia State PDP Governorship Candidate in the state, replacing Professor Uche Ikonne, who passed on, January 25th 2023, after a brief illness.
At the re-run primary election which was held at the Umuahia Township Stadium, Ahiwe, who resigned a few days prior to the election, unannounced, defeated four other candidates, including the Abia State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Ude-Oko Chukwu.
Speaking, shortly after the poll, the Edo State Governor, who was also the Chairman of the PDP Special Election Committee, announced that Ahiwe garnered 469 votes which represents 91% of the 516 votes cast by the delegates, while the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude-Oko Chukwu came 2nd with 12 votes, same as Mayor Lucky Igbokwe who also got 12 votes. Samson Uka Orji, on his part, got 11 votes. Obaseki also stated that a total of 516 voters were accredited, while 12 votes were declared invalid.
Three contestants, out of the eight of them stepped down for Ahiwe, owing to the zoning arrangement made by the party to Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, that the ticket would be retained in that area, to compensate the people of the late Ikonne. They are Eric Opah, Bob Ogu and Ezinwanyi Jonah.
Speaking, during his acceptance speech, Ahiwe expressed his joy at being the party’s choice to fly her flag in the 2023 election. He maintained that the decision to take the ticket back to Isiala Ngwa North, came aboutafter wild consultations were made across the state, adding that it has brought unity to the party and strengthened it.
According to the Abia State PDP Governorship Candidate, his win was a victory for everybody with ‘no victor, no vanquished. He urged the other candidates to join him in making the party formidable enough to win the forthcoming election.
Obaseki, during his address to the delegates, explained that the election was a directive that was given by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, adding that it was in tune with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
His words: ‘The process here today is to strengthen democracy because someone who has been popularly and democratically nominated will be supported by all’, he said.
The exercise was monitored by the INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, and the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ike Uzochukwu.
Other members of the Special Electoral Committee are Senator George Sekibo, Hon. Binta Bello, Mr Atzer Terzungwe, Hon. Linda Ikpeazu and Felix Hassan Hyatt who served as Secretary of the committee.
Recall that the late Abia State PDP Governorship Candidate, Ikonne, 57, became Abia State PDP Governorship Candidate after winning in a keenly contested election held to replace the former guber candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne who died after a brief illness. He hails from Umuire Village in Eziama Ntigha Autonomous Community of Isiala Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State.