By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Umuahia, Feb. 4, 2023
Chief Okey Ahiwe, who resigned unannounced a few days ago as Chief of Staff to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, has emerged PDP’s Governorship Candidate.
Ahiwe emerged from Saturday’s rerun primary election held at the Umuahia Township Stadium, having defeated four other aspirants, including Dep. Gov. Ude Oko-Chukwu.
He replaces Prof. Uche Ikonne, who died on Jan. 25, following a brief illness.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ahiwe secured 469 votes, followed by Oko-Chukwu and Mr. Lucky Igbokwe, who polled 12 votes each.
Other contestants, including Mr. Samson Orji got 11 votes, while Sen. Emma Nwaka, a former PDP Chairman, got no vote.
A total of 12 of the 504 votes cast during the exercise were voided.
NAN reports that Chief Eric Opah, Mrs. Ezinwanyi Jonah and the former Commissioner for Works, Mr. Bob Ogu, stepped down from the race for Ahiwe.
The Returning Officer for the exercise, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, declared Ahiwe the winner of the election.
Earlier in a speech, Obaseki described the exercise as a process that would strengthen democracy.
“As long as the process has been done the party would mobilise all the necessary resources to support the candidate,” he said.
In an acceptance speech, Ahiwe said that his emergence was a “consensus building” and victory for all the members of PDP.
“I encourage all the contestants to join hands with me to take the party to the next level.
“And by the grace of God, we will win all our elections,” he further said.
NAN reports that 57-year-old Ahiwe hails from the same Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area as late Ikonne.
In the aftermath of Ikonne’s death, the state PDP caucus micro-zoned the governorship ticked to the area to compensate the people.