Abia Chief Of Staff Tipped To Replace Prof. Ikonne As PDP Guber Candidate
Indications have emerged that Sir Okey Ahiwe the Chief of Staff to Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu may emerge as the replacement for the late Prof. Eleazear Uche Ikonne who before his death was the governorship candidate of the party in Abia, a reliable source told ABN TV.
This comes ahead of the Feb. 4 primary election in which a candidate is expected to emerge from Isialangwa North, the home local government of the late Prof. Ikonne, a former Abia State University, Uturu vice-chancellor.
The party had zoned the ticket back to Isialangwa North to make up for the chances of the zone following the passage of Prof. Ikonne in Abuja after a brief illness at the National Hospital in the nation’s capital.
At the moment, Chief Sir Okey Ahiwe, Prince C. O Enweremadu who is the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Barr. Bob Ogu Commissioner for Works have all obtained their nomination and expression of interest forms and are ready to test their popularity among the delegates participating in the primary election.
A source who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity says though the three cabinet members are trusted allies of the governor, the most favoured is the chief of staff who is believed to have demonstrated capacity ever since his appointment by the governor as chief of staff.
His appointment last year followed the resignation of the erstwhile Chief of Staff to the Governor, Professor ACB Agbazuere, from Isialangwa South who had quit to pursue his political ambition, where he is seeking to represent Isialangwa North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
Our source said Chief Ahiwe’s closeness to the governor in the last one year has given him an edge over other contestants as the governor is believed to have narrowed his choice of a successor to his chief of staff.
Born in December 1966, Chief Sir Okey Ahiwe who hails from Umuire Village in Eziama Ntigha Autonomous Community of Isiala-Ngwa North LGA also has age on his side at 54. Aside from this, as the founding president of Ngwa Patriots Forum, he enjoys the support of the Ukwa la Ngwa political bloc as well as leaders of PDP from the zone.
The Chief of Staff is also believed to be experienced in the handling of government affairs, especially with his closeness to authorities since April last year. He is also one of the front runners without any trace of corruption or any invitation from anti-corruption agencies.
Sources say his loyalty to the governor is unquestionable and is most likely to emerge as the party’s flag bearer after the Feb. 4 primary election. The governor is yet to however visibly canvas for support for any other three cabinet members jostling to succeed him.
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