A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lucky Igbokwe has stated that only previous contenders should be allowed to participate in its scheduled fresh primary.
Recall that the PDP had scheduled a fresh governorship primary to hold on February 4, following the death of Uchenna Ikonne, the party’s governorship candidate in Abia state.
A former vice-chancellor of Abia State University (ABSU), Ikonne died on January 25 at the National Hospital in Abuja on January 25.
During the first primary, Ikonne had won the election with 468 votes while Lucky Igbokwe came second with 45 counts.
Igbokwe had alleged that there were irregularities in the fmprimaries, which caused the withdrawal of many aspirants from the party.
In a statement on Wednesday, the governorship aspirant alleged that there are attempts within the party to impose a candidate.
“Following the death of the Abia PDP gubernatorial candidate, Prof. Eleazar Uche Ikonne, on January 25, 2022, and the subsequent directive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days to replace him, members of the Abia PDP state caucus met today and zoned the vacant guber seat to Isiala Ngwa north local government area, the home LGA of the late Prof. Uche Ikonne,” Igbokwe said.
“Festus Okoye the INEC national commissioner and chairman information and voter education committee has stated that the election is still one month away, and the state’s ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has a window to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days of Ikonne’s death.
“The decision to zone the governorship to the Isiala Ngwa LGA is wrong. All those who participated during the first primary must not be excluded from the party decision-making process on another primary.
“We invested in the party and cannot just be ignored. PDP must create room for growth and not recruit unwilling horses who did not aspire to lead in the first place.
“You do not force a child who did not do well in the sciences to read medicine, otherwise he would flunk his exams. This is why Abia state has failed woefully and keeps failing.
“Now you want us to buy fresh forms for the same position we have been cleared and undergo another screening process. Why must it be left open for those who were not participants in the first primary?”
“My fellow Abians, let me explain. It can never be in the best interest of this state that has been pillaged and laundered to force upon us candidates who have not been vetted and tested as our potential flagbearers from whom one person will emerge to face the other party flag bearers already on the campaign trail for months now in this all- important governorship election.
“These are candidates that have not undergone the rigorous processes of formal and informal scrutiny by stakeholders and members of this party in the 17 LGAs.
“Will seven days be enough for this consultation and campaign by these new aspirants?”