Abia PDP suspends its election for three days due to the death of Ikonne
By Steve Oko
In honor of its deceased governorship candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne, the Abia State branch of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has announced a three-day campaign hiatus.
Elder Abraham Amah, the PDP’s acting publicity secretary and vice chairman for Abia North, made this announcement during a press conference on Wednesday night in Umuahia. He claimed the party was in shock over the untimely passing of the party’s governorship candidate.
This comes as shock over the sudden death of the PDP governorship front-runner was expressed by All Progressive Congress, APC, governorship candidate Chief Ikechi Emenike, Minister of State for Science and Technology Chief Henry Ikoh, and the first Director General of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Chief Chuku Wachuku.
Ikonne’s death, according to PDP, was extremely tragic because it occurred “at a time when he was recuperating from illness and had shown great signs and willingness to join us in the second leg of our ward-to-ward tour that is ongoing across the 184 Wards in the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia State.”
He continued, “As we mourn his passing, we express our condolences to his immediate family, the Abia State governor, His Excellency Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, all PDP members, and the good people of Abia State on the passing of this outstanding son of the State.
Ikonne’s passing had destroyed the party, according to Elder Abraham, who also announced that an emergency meeting of the State Working Committee would take place later that evening.
To “stay calm, steadfast, and await future directions from the leadership of the party,” he urged PDP members.
On Thursday, a delegation from the party leadership would visit the grieving family, according to Abraham.
Professor Ikonne was an optometrist up to the time of his death. He also held the positions of vice chancellor and reactor at the Abia State University Uturu.
The APC governorship candidate, High Chief Emenike, responded by expressing sorrow over Ikonne’s passing.
Emenike stated that he was “rudely shocked” to learn of Ikonne’s passing in a statement made in Umuahia shortly after the news was formally revealed by the deceased’s family.
The passing of his rival for the position of governor was characterized by him as “a sad situation for Abia State in the continuing democratic process.”
The candidate for the APC governorship expressed condolences to the Ikonne family, the Abia government and people, as well as the ruling PDP (PDP).
Emenike prayed for the late academic’s peaceful rest and advised his family and everyone else affected by his passing to endure the loss with fortitude.
In his answer, Chief Ikoh referred to Ikonne’s passing as very regrettable and appealed to God to comfort both the PDP and the grieving family.
In a same vein, Chief Wachuku, the former NDE boss and YPP senatorial contender for Abia Central, has expressed shock and sadness over Ikonne’s passing.
Professor Uchenna Eleazar Ikonne, who was the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for governor of Abia State at the time of his death, passed away, and Chief Chuku Wachuku has sent his condolences to the entire Ikonne family.
In a letter of sympathy that he personally signed, Wachuku expressed his trauma at learning of Ikonne’s passing.
The sudden death of their patriarch and my much loved younger brother, Wachuku remarked, “My heart goes out to the immediate family; the wife, children, and in particular Dr. Chikezie Ikonne.
“Professor Ikonne and I had a close and friendly relationship as siblings,” the statement continued. I find it painful that he had to leave the stage at this particular moment. My heart is heavy as I mourn the loss of my loving brother and I hope for his soul to find eternal rest.
I had to stop moving after learning the worst news of the year while en route to Umuahia for a scheduled event.
In order to respect and honor a great brother and learned son of Nsulu, with whom I had so many things in common, I have further ordered that all of my activities be suspended for the remainder of the week.
“I implore the people of Abia to pray for the family and to refrain from politicizing the terrible circumstances surrounding his passing, keeping in mind that God Alone is the Author and Finisher of our Lives.
“My darling brother, may you rest in peace!!!
God, Chief Wachuku prayed, would give the family, the Nsulu people, and the entire Abia State population the strength to endure the loss.