Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, on Monday, confirmed that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Uche Ikonne, is ill.
Mr Ikpeazu made the confirmation in a local radio programme, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia.
The governor, however, said that Mr Ikonne was “recovering gradually and progressively”.
According to him, Mr Ikonne attended some rallies organised by the PDP in Abia, including the 24 November 2022 launch of the party’s state-wide campaign at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
He said Mr Ikonne left the stadium for a gala night, organised in honour of the G-5 governors in his (Ikpeazu) Umuobiakwa country home in Obingwa, “where he managed to give a speech and then he took ill”.
“It is unfortunate that he is lately indisposed, but I want to report some progress and the progress is that Ikonne is recovering gradually and progressively.
“He has left the hospital and is going through convalescence.
“I am sure that he will be strong enough in the future to join,” the governor said.
Governor Ikpeazu urged residents of the state to keep hope alive, assuring them that Mr Ikonne would soon bounce back.
He said his absence from the political space this time “will not define the progress of the campaigns or agenda of PDP in the state.
“It might be the wish of detractors that Ikonne’s absence will linger,” he said.
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He recalled that when he was ill himself, “permutations changed and people were allocating positions to themselves.
“I’m sure they even appropriated my wife to themselves,” the governor said.
NAN reports that speculations about Ikonne’s health challenge became rife, following his sudden withdrawal from public functions after the stadium event.
Meanwhile, Mr Ikpeazu has said that no other party had the capacity to displace PDP in the state.
He said the “PDP is very very powerful” in Abia and that no other party compared with it in terms of strength.
He said, “Some of them may have supporters in one or two local governments but they cannot put 100 people each across Abia.”
He also spoke about some of the achievements of his administration.
Mr Ikpeazu, who is the senatorial candidate for Abia South, promised to perform well in the Senate if given the mandate.
He is up in the race against the incumbent, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who is seeking to return to the Senate for a fifth term.
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