At the last count, the list of governorship candidates and their running mates published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend in Umuahia, 30 political parties will slug it out in the 2019 governorship election in Abia State.
Among the candidates are two women Hon. Blessing Nwagba, currently, a member of the Abia State House of Assembly who is flying the flag of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Queenedith Asika Chukwuka of the Change Advocacy Party.
Aside from the women, the incumbent, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, who shrugged off pressure to drop his deputy from some groups in Ohafi, will face another 27 contenders from other political parties.
They include his closest rival in the 2015 governorship race, Dr. Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), as well as Dr Uche Ogah who almost pushed him (Ikpeazu) out of Government House in his bid to establish that he was the right PDP candidate for the 2015 governorship poll but is now the standard bearer of All Progressives Congress.
Also in the race are Chijioke Owanta (Alliance for Social Democrats); Onuoha Ukaigwe (All Grand Allance Party); Ceekay Igwe Kalu ( Labour Party); Orji Kingsley (Zenith Labour Party) and Anyalewachi Nwaozuru (Green Party of Nigeria) and Ahaiwe Udochukwu Elvis (Restoration Party).
Others include Chief Igwo Nnanna Okpan (All Grassroots Alliance); Chukwuonye Anthony Madu (People for Democratic Change); Okey Okoro Udo (Action Democratic Party); Chief Emeka Uwakolam (Accord Party); Barr. Kelenna Obonna (African Democratic Congress); Ubani Vincent Anthony (African Action Congress); Okronkwo Fortune Paul (Providence Peoples Congress); Umah Charles Okezie (Action Peoples Party) and Benson Chibunna Onyejkachi (Kowa), among others.