Ikonne’s death: PDP begins plan for fresh gubernatorial primary in Abia releases timetable

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced the process for the emergence of its governorship candidate in Abia, following the death of Uchenna Ikonne, who, until his death last week, was the party’s governorship candidate in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had given the party 14 days to produce Ikonne’s replacement in line with Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunabga in a late night statement on Friday, stated that following “the death of our Abia State Governorship Candidate for the 2023 general election, Prof. Uchenna Eleazar Ikonne, and pursuant to the provisions of Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the National Working Committee (NWC) has released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of a fresh Governorship Election Primary in Abia State.”

The party also commenced the process by notifying the INEC as required by the Electoral Act

The statement said that sale of forms also began on Friday, January 27, and would end on Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Last day for the Submission of already purchased forms, is one Wednesday, February 1, 2023, while the screening of aspirants is on Thursday, February 2, 2023

The party also fixed the screening of appeal for Friday, February 3, 2023; while the State Congress for nomination of Gubernatorial Candidate is fixed for Saturday, February 4, 2023

The statement also opened the race to fresh aspirants who are permitted to participate in the current exercise alongside those who contested in the earlier primary.

“All party leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members and supporters of the PDP in Abia State are guided by this accordingly,” it said.

It was gathered that unlike when Governor Okezie Ikpeazu anointed Ikonne, but has aligned forces with the G-5 Governors led by Governor Nyesom Wike, the party now takes full control of the process that will determine the successor of Governor Ikpeazu.

Ikpeazu had since the party’s Presidential primary in May last year stuck with Wike and the G5 group which had since not participated in the campaign of the party’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The state had also invited Rivers State Governor, Wike to flag off its governorship campaign in Abia, without the participation of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, whose resignation they had demanded.

Ikpeazu had also invited Wike to present the party flag to Ikonne as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Abia State.

A party chieftain who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The party owns the process and they can use to bring anyone who will be loyal to them. So, Ikpeazu is now jittery over who they will bring to succeed him, especially if they decide to sideline or ignore his interest, just like they are doing to Atiku and the party.

“This may throw up fresh crisis as Ikpeazu may want to scuttle the process if he cannot have his way, or the party may end up producing two candidates for the March 9th gubernatorial election.”

A stakeholder in the Abia PDP, who spoke with our correspondent from Abuja, said: “Ikpeazu’s effort to keep power in Ngwa land is a new consciousness. The worse that could happen is that the Ngwa votes would line up with another Ngwa candidate. A non-Ngwa candidate is more likely to lose.”

According to him, “The party should be interested in keeping power than personal issues like punishing an individual.”

Skip to toolbar