BY CHINMA ONYEDI in Umuahia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State may have scaled the first hurdle in his bid to return for a second term in office as the State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has adopted him as its sole candidate for the 2019 governorship election.
The adoption which was announced by the state party Chairman, Sir Johnson Onuigbo, after a state-wide PDP Caucus meeting held in Banquet Hall, Government House, Umuahia, is at variance with the position of the State Executive Committee, which was categorical last year that the governor, or any other contestant, in the 2019 general elections would not be given an automatic tickets.
Speaking with journalists in his office on Thursday November 2, 2017, Onuigbo, said all public offices in the state were open and that there would be level playing ground for all aspirants.
“All offices for 2019 elections are open and contestable in line with Abia Charter of Equity and PDP zoning formula. In line with the above, there shall be a level playing ground for all aspirants irrespective of the position,” Onuigbo had told newsmen.
But the party changed its stand last week after the PDP State Caucus met and adopted Ikpeazu as its sole candidate of Abia PDP for the 2019 governorship election.
Onuigbo disclosed that the caucus was the highest decision making body of the party in the state, adding that the body met to discuss issues bordering on the progress of the party.
Presenting a communiqué on behalf of the Caucus, the State Secretary of Abia PDP, Chief Ibe Nwadioha, said the caucus passed a vote of confidence on the Governor for keeping the flag of the PDP flying and urged all members of the party to support him for a second term in office.
The communiqué equally commended the party leadership in the State for upholding the ideals of the party and the support it has given to the Governor, which has assisted him in implementing the party’s manifesto.
According to the communiqué, the PDP would ensure that the forthcoming primary elections in Abia would be free and fair as all aspirants would be given a level playing ground.