The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Prof Uche Ikonne, is dead.
Son of the deceased, Dr Chikezie Uche-Ikonne, said in a statement on Wednesday that Ikonne died of “multiple cardiac arrests” in Abuja.
The statement reads: “I regret to announce the death of my dear father, Prof Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne, who died at the National Hospital Abuja today January 25, 2023 by 4 am after a brief illness.
“He was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United Kingdom but relapsed a few days ago leading to multiple cardiac arrests from which he didn’t recover from.
“Further details and arrangements would be made known to the public after deliberations and meetings are made within the family.”
Before his death, Ikonne was absent from public view thereby prompting the search for an acceptable candidate to replace him.
It was gathered that the governor, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, was hamstrung asking Ikonne to step down considering the implications of going to the polls with an absentee governorship candidate as it happened in the case of the erstwhile governor of the state, Mr. Theodore Orji, who was in detention when he won the governorship election in 2007.
Only recently did Ikpeazu confirmed that Ikonne was indisposed but “recovering gradually and progressively.”
He said the deceased attended some rallies organised by the PDP in Abia, including the November 24, 2022 launch of the party’s state-wide campaign at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
The governor said Ikonne left the stadium for a gala night, organised in honour of the G-5 governors in his (Ikpeazu) Umuobiakwa country home in Obingwa, “where he managed t o give a speech and then he took ill”.
“It is unfortunate that he is lately indisposed, but I want to report some progress and the progress is that Ikonne is recovering gradually and progressively.” he said.
He said the absence of the deceased from the political space “will not define the progress of the campaigns or agenda of PDP in the state.
“It might be the wish of detractors that Ikonne’s absence will linger.”
He recalled that when he was ill himself, “permutations changed and people were allocating positions to themselves.