5 Abia PDP Chieftains Likely to Contest Party's Rescheduled Governorship Primary Election
- The countdown has begun on who will replace Professor Uchenna Ikonne as the Abia PDP governorship candidate
- Ikonne, a former vice chancellor of the Abia State University, passed on recently, forcing the PDP to organise another primary election
- So far, there are five leading candidates in the race to replace Ikonne and all is now set for the nerve-racking exercise
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Umuahia - The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently released the timetable for a fresh governorship primary in Abia state.
The decision of the NWC to hold the fresh primary followed the death of the party’s governorship candidate in Abia state, Professor Uchenna Ikonne.
Legit.ng lists five PDP chieftains likely to contest for the position.
1. Mayor Lucky Igbokwe
A political heavyweight, Igbokwe was the first runner up in the primary election that produced Professor Ikonne as the PDP governorship candidate eight months ago. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Igbokwe is the founder of Don Lulu Foundation.
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He is expected to contest for the position again and political analysts say he has a good chance of winning this time around in a free and fair contest devoid of interference by the powers that be in the state.
2. Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu
He is the current deputy governor of the state and ranking member of the PDP in Abia state and the southeast in general. He pulled out of the race in 2022 when the handwriting was on the wall that his principal and Abia state chief executive, Okezie Ikpeazu preferred Ikonne.
In a free and fair contest, Chukwu can get enough votes to emerge the governorship candidate of the party in Abia. There are also suggestions that the governor might endorse him due to his refusal to join issues with his boss after the initial exercise.
3. Chief Ncheta Elvis Omerekpe
Abia's foremost philanthropist and founder, Ncheta Omerekpe Foundation, Chief Ncheta Elvis Omerekpe is another big name expected to contest for the governorship ticket of the PDP. He was one of those who pulled out from the initial exercise.
His popularity within the PDP in the state gives him an edge. He is also well known in the business community due to his achievements as a private sector leader across the country. He also has a deep pocket to finance his campaign without any support from a godfather.
4. Enyinnaya Chima Nwafor
Dr. Nwafor is a renowned surgeon and community builder who has built a solid reputation for himself in Abia state and beyond. Some political experts in the state say if the PDP is serious about winning the election, fielding Nwafor is their best bet.
Uchenna Ikonne: Facts you need to know about PDP governorship candidate that died of cardiac arrests
He is the son of late former deputy governor of Abia state, Dr. Chima Nwafor. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tunnel End, and Rock and Rock Waters Integrated Services Ltd., two construction companies headquartered in Aba.
5. Senator Emma Nwaka
A seasoned politician, he represented Abia North senatorial district in the second republic and has remained relevant in the political arena in the state. Nwaka is also a former chairman of the Abia state chapter of the PDP.
Some political experts in the state say he is an experienced politician who knows how to win elections and the PDP should look towards him if they are serious about defeating their rivals in the forthcoming governorship election.
Abia guber primary: PDP goes after Ikpeazu for supporting Wike
In a related development, there are indications that the national leadership of the PDP will not allow Governor Ikpeazu handpick his successor this time.
Sources within the party say the forthcoming Abia PDP governorship primary will nail the coffin of the governor's political career if he insists on choosing who picks the party's ticket.
The decision to stop the governor is due to his membership of the G-5, a group of aggrieved state chief executives within the PDP.
How PDP youth group called for Ikonne's replacement before his death
Recall that before Ikonne's death, the PDP Youth Movement on Tuesday, January 24 called for his replacement.
The youths had alleged that Ikonne displayed his frail health status at the Abia state PDP campaign kick-off at Umuahia sometime in November 2023.
The youths led by Salahudeen Lukman, president, Gbe Benjamin Orduen, national secretary and Elekwachi Joshua, coordinator, southeast zone had also called on the party to replace Ikonne immediately.