Okey Ahiwe, erstwhile chief of staff to the governor of Abia State, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has been elected as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State.
The election became necessary following the death of Prof. Uche Ikonne who was to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 general election.
Announcing the results of the election held in Umuahia yesterday, the chairman, PDP primary election committee and governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki said Ahiwe polled 469 votes to beat the other contestants.
Others who contested were the deputy governor of the state, Mr. Ude Oko-Chukwu and Mr. Lucky Igbokwe who scored 12 votes each.
Earlier, three aspirants who participated in the governorship re-run stepped down for Ahiwe. They were Mrs. Ezinwanyi Jonah, Mr. Eric Opah and the former commissioner for works in the state, Mr. Bob Ogu. Opah and Ahiwe are from Isiala Ngwa north local government area while Jonah is from Obingwa local government area.
In his speech, Obaseki who noted that Abia remained a PDP state, urged the party members to help in strengthening democracy in the party by ensuring a smooth and transparent process of choosing the flag-bearer of the party in the state.
He assured the candidate that the party will support him to win the governorship election in the state.
In his acceptance speech, Ahiwe said there was no victor, no vanquished.
He thanked the delegates and leaders for consulting widely, adding that the decision of the party to zone the governorship ticket to Isiala Ngwa North would further strengthen the unity of the party.
He expressed confidence that the party was going to win the governorship seat in the state
Earlier in his speech, the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Alwell Okere, said the special convention became necessary following Ikonne’s death.
“We lost our governorship candidate Ikonne ten days ago, It is for that reason that we are here today because the electoral act particularly section 33 has compelled us to elect another candidate within 14 days.
“We are very confident that the team led by Obaseki, will do a good job because the party knows the kind of man he is before sending him.
“We know all the candidates. We urge the winner to be magnanimous and embrace others.
“We must do everything to rescue Nigeria from corruption and poverty by starting from Abia State,” he said.
Observers from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by its national commissioner and chairman, voter education, Mr. Festus Okoye were present to monitor the process.