Ikpeazu May Impose Chief Of Staff As Abia PDP Guber Candidate

The People Democratic Party in Abia State may have settled for Sir Okechukwu Ambrose Ahiwe, the Chief of Staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, to replace the late Prof. Eleazear Uche Ikonne as the party’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming election.

Ahiwe hails from the same Isialangwa North Local Government Area as the late Ikonne who died recently from “multiple cardiac arrests,” according to his family.

The Abia PDP had zoned the governorship ticket to the LGA.

“The decision was taken during a meeting of the Abia PDP State Caucus whose membership is drawn from across the state including Abia North, Ikwuano/Umuahia, Ukwa East and Ukwa West Local Government Areas,” the state’s Vice Chairman of the PDP, Abraham Amah, had said in a statement.

The Electoral Act 2022 mandates political parties to hold a fresh primary election within 14 days of the occurrence of a candidate’s death and withdrawal.

Consequently, the Abia PDP fixed February 4 to conduct a fresh primary election to replace the Ikonne.

THE WHISTLER learnt that while Abia PDP invited interested aspirants to pick up forms for the primary election, the party’s leadership has quietly reached a consensus to support Governor Ikpeazu’s Chief of Staff to pick the ticket.

A source with knowledge of the arrangement told THE WHISTLER on condition of anonymity that among aspirants jostling for the ticket, Ahiwe is favoured by the Ikpeazu-led Abia PDP to get the ticket.

The governor was accused of imposing Ikonne on the party when he openly endorsed him ahead of the initial primary election held in June 2022.

Our source said Ahiwe’s alleged planned imposition may further divide the Abia PDP and widen its chances of defeat at the poll as more members may quit the party before the March 11 governorship election.

Governor Ikpeazu appointed Ahiwe as his Chief of Staff following the resignation of his former Chief of Staff, Professor ACB Agbazuere, who is seeking to election to the House of Representatives to represent Isialangwa North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.

57-year-old Ahiwe holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Lagos and a master’s degree in the same discipline from Abia State University.

He was the coordinator of coordinators in the campaign council for the reelection of Governor Ikpeazu in 2019.

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