• State professionals to grill candidates on economy, infrastructure
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national youth movement has demanded immediate replacement of the party’s governorship candidate in Abia State, Prof. Uchenna Ikonne, over health related issues.
According to leadership of the movement, the call was informed by Ikonne’s ill health, which caused his collapse on the occasion of Abia State PDP campaign kick off at Umuahia on November 24, 2022, and has not returned to the campaign trail or seen in any forum.
Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja, at a world press conference, the National President of the movement, Salahudeen Lukman, advised the party to approach a court of competent jurisdiction to invoke the doctrine of necessity to enable substitution, since there is no provision for replacement in the 2022 Electoral Act as amended.
Lukman warned that any attempt by leadership of the party to impose or continue foisting a proven incapacitated individual on the state as governorship candidate would amount to deliberate ridicule, insensitivity and wickedness.
His words: “Much as we pray for full recovery of Prof. lkonne, who has been under intensive care abroad, his inability to recuperate in the past 60 days confirms insinuations that his health has worsened, which sends bad signals to the hearts of voters in the state.
“While it offers undue advantage to opposition parties to defeat the ailing candidate, it’s in the best interest of Ikonne, who requires adequate time to secure maximum treatment, and that of our party that needs to win and retain the state, that we call for collective sacrifice by stakeholders.”
MEANWHILE, in a bid to ensure good governance, the Abia League of Professionals Initiative (ALPI) is set to grill all governorship candidates in the state.
The candidates included: Prof. Uche Ikonne of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP); Prof. Greg Ibe of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Chief Ikechi Emenike of All Progressives Congress (APC) and others.
Chairman, Governance Committee of ALPI, Dr. Emeka Okengwu, in a statement, disclosed that the engagement would commence today and run through January 27, 2023, at the Unique Life Hotel, Umuahia, the state capital.
The professionals will interrogate the candidates’ understanding of “poor state of physical infrastructure, as well as high level of human capital devaluation in the state.”
The statement reads in parts: “ALPI is set to engage governorship candidates of all political parties in Abia.
“ALPI is a non- partisan Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which is committed to playing a catalytic role in enthronement of good governance in Abia.”