From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Three persons are known to be gunning for the Abia State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate vacant position. The position became vacant as a result of the death of former candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne, who died on January 25.
Following Prof Ikonne’s death, the PDP caucus in Abia met and decided to micro zone the Governorship seat to Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, the home Local Government Council of Prof Ikonne, as a mark of respect.
Despite agitations from two former aspirants, the party threw the contest open for aspirants from the said Local Government of Isiala Ngwa North, citing the new Electorial Law.
With the timetable released by the national body of the party, the primary will be held tomorrow, February 4, at the Umuahia Township Stadium, to choose a replacement for the late Ikonne.
Presently, three persons are known to be in the race for the party’s gubernatorial candidate. They are, Chiefs Eric Opah, Okey Ahiwe and Bob Nwogu, all from Isiala Ngwa North LGA.
Opah, the founder of Fortune Global Shipping & Logistics Limited and Fortune Marine & Energy Services Limited, could be said not to be our everyday politician or a “Professional” politician as some people may call it, but he is a chieftain of the PDP, who hails from Mbubo, in Isiala Ngwa North LGA.
He is said to have a proven track record, capacity and integrity, qualities he believes, makes him ripe for the job.
Opah who currently serves as the Chairman Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce, Abia State Chapter, according to a statement, said he has consulted widely, with chieftains of the party acknowledging that he is in the right position both in character and capacity to pick the governorship ticket.
“After proper consultation, the governor himself agreed with me and facilitated my picking the PDP gubernatorial form, so I see no reason why I will be stepping down for anyone” the statement added.
He called on all PDP faithful in Abia State to support him so that PDP will have the best candidate to fly her flag and win the 2023 governorship election in Abia State.
Opah is believed to be backed by a powerful clique in the state.
Another frontrunner in the race for the PDP goverorship ticket, is Okey Ahiwe, the present Chief of Staff (CoS) to the governor.
Ahiwe was appointed CoS last year followed the resignation of the erstwhile CoS, ACB Agbazuere, from Isialangwa South, who is presently contesting the Isialangwa North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
Ahiwe hails from Umuire Village in Eziama Ntigha Autonomous Community of Isiala-Ngwa North LGA.
He is said to have endeared himself to the hearts of those in government and with Ahiwe’s closeness to governor Okezie Ikpeazu which was said to have pre-dated their coming into office, it will not therefore be surprising should he emerge Ikpeazu’s candidate, if he had not already.
Bob Ogu, a lawyer and the immediate past Commissioner for Works in the state, is also on the line for the Governorship ticket.
Ogu also from Isiala North LGA had been the Commissioner for Works since the advent of the second tenure of the Ikpeazu administation, until he resigned about two days ago to pick Form for the governorship ticket.
Although he is not know to have the tacit support of the powers that be in the state, he is however seen as an option “B” sorts off.
Since the three aspirants have vowed not to step down for another, only tomorrow will tell who amongst them will pick up the PDP flag where Prof Ikonne dropped it.