The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has zoned the party’s vacant governorship ticket to Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state.
The State Vice Chairman of the PDP, Abraham Amah, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Mr Amah, who is also the acting spokesperson of the party in the state, explained that the decision was in response to the death of the former candidate, Uchenna Ikonne.
He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission had directed that the PDP should hold a fresh primary within 14 days from the death of Mr Ikonne to replace him.
Mr Ikonne, a professor and former vice chancellor of the Abia State University Uturu, passed away on Wednesday, 25 January, around 4 a.m. at the National Hospital Abuja, according to a statement from his first son, Uche-Ikonne Chikezie, on behalf of the family.
The deceased governorship candidate hailed from Nsulu, a community in Isiala Ngwa North Council Area, where the PDP has zoned the governorship ticket.
“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,” Mr Amah said.
The PDP vice chairman said the meeting was attended by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and other party members.
Some of the party members in attendance, according to the statement, were the deputy governorship candidate of the party in the state, Ude Chukwu, former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, the Speaker of State Assembly and Chinedum Orji.
Others are; the PDP senatorial candidate for Abia North, Mao Ohuabunwa and his Abia Central counterpart, Austin Akobundu, a former presidential aspirant of the PDP, Sam Ohuabunwa and former deputy governor of the state, Acho Nwakanma.
The PDP has urged members to support the decision of the party caucus and work towards a successful primary billed to hold on 4 February, Mr Amah said.
He also enjoined members of the PDP to remain vigilant and expect more information from the Publicity Department of the party in due course.
Before the emergence of Mr Ikonne as PDP governorship in the state, the party had announced the zoning of the ticket to Abia North and Abia Central Districts following debate over which district should produce governor in the state in 2023.
Isiala Ngwa North where Mr Ikonne hailed from belongs to Abia Central District.
The rezoning of the ticket to the area indicates that the PDP has maintained its position that the district should produce a governor in the state in 2023.
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