Crisis in Abia PDP over Ikonne’s absence
A group, Abia Transformation Agenda Network (TAN), has decried continued absence of the Abia State Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate in coming general elections, Prof. Uche Ikonne, describing it, as well as lack of information about his health condition, as hide and seek game with the collective destiny of Abians. It was gathered that Ikonne was last seen in public on November 22, 2022.
In a statement by the group’s National Coordinator, Thomas Okoro, it noted that it had followed, with keen interest, how PDP has refused, neglected or ignored to disclose the whereabouts of Ikonne.
The statement reads: “In Abia, there are speculations regarding where the 70-year- old former Vice Chancellor is attending to his health since he allegedly collapsed at the Umuahia Township Stadium, venue of the Abia PDP campaign flag-off.
“We noticed that a faction of PDP, which feels they would benefit if a swap happens, has been holding series of meetings on how to scale through the hurdle of replacement of candidate placed by the Electoral Act.
“Going by provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022, which deals with withdrawal of a candidate, “A candidate may withdraw his or her candidature by notice in writing, signed by him and delivered personally by to the political party that nominated him for the election, and the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the Commission not later than 90 days to the election.
“It is obvious that given the limitation of time and by statute, the PDP in Abia has no governorship candidate. Those who are benefitting from this quagmire are busy receiving millions of naira daily for campaigning for a candidate who cannot be found anyway.
“We want to bring to the notice of Abians that members of the PDP, who are the architects of this game plan want to go into the elections with an absentee candidate so that it will be easy for them to have unfettered access to the state treasury in the unlikely event that Ikonne wins. It is the vacuum of not having a functional governor that is inspiring them to behave in that manner.”