With the nomination of Hon. (Barr) Okey Igwe, the Honorable Member representing Umunneochi State Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, as the running mate to Prof Uche Ikonne (PDP Guber Candidate for Abia State), the ticket is good to go and well balanced.

Prof IKonne is a tested administrator who ticks the right boxes with proven capacity to grow the Abia estate from where Governor Ikpeazu will stop in 2023 to where it is supposed to be by the end of his tenure. Personally, I recall meeting Prof when it was my lot in 2014/15 to supervise arrangements for a lecture for the then PDP governorship candidate, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who was to deliver a Paper at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba. As expected, I had to do a background check on our Chief Host, the Rector, Prof Eleazer Uche Ikonne, to understand who we were dealing with at a time that it was very important to keep the right company for political fidelity.

I found out that the Professor of Optometry who was then relatively new to the institution was a focused person who is goal driven without the usual pretenses associated with high flying academics. As at the time he was appointed to head Abiapoly, the institution had about 8 months backlog of unpaid salaries, he cleared 3 months from the arrears and continued paying regularly till he left the institution. He also delivered on new structures for the school and repositioned the institution on the path of sustainable growth before he was deservedly moved to Abia State University as Vide Chancellor.

It is on record that before COVID-19 disrupted the flow of academics in ABSU, that institution never had any local strike by lecturers under Prof Ikonne and he was paying the staff regularly while introducing many innovations that made students and lecturers alike feel happy, safe and secure. Indeed, that institution moved up in ranking among state universities to second position and improved its national rating among universities from 97th position to 23rd. It was also under Prof Ikonne that work started at the new Osisioma campus and some Faculties were successfully relocated to Umuahia to spread the benefits associated with having a tertiary institution located in a place.

With Prof Ikonne as PDP Governorship candidate for 2023, Abians should expect to have a seasoned administrator who is an innovative problem solver as their next Governor. He will build on the legacies of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and most likely improve on them. In due course, I will find the time to elaborately place in the public domain some of the achievements of Prof to help debunk some of the fallacies circulating here and there.

With the emergence of Barr Okey Igwe, we can safely say that the ticket is now properly balanced as demanded by Abia’s youthful demographic group. Honorable Igwe is from Umunneochi in Abia North Senatorial District and is well educated, locally and internationally. He is young, full of energy and, of course, a level headed person. The only downside is that he fervently supports President Biden while I prefer Donald Trump. I can live with that and I am sure majority of Abians won’t also mind.

Let me drop this here for all Abia PDP members to take note and do the needful. We have won this 2023 Governorship election if all our members turn up on election day and vote for our candidate. No cap!

Those luring you to join their new parties are merely pursuing their personal interests and will ultimately relegate you when they get what they want. Whereas nobody can deny your rights and benefits as a PDP member from now till thy kingdom come.

Yes, the way and manner the primary elections turned out may have genuinely hurt some of our members and I personally feel their pains individually. But they must realize that others were also hurt when they previously won or were appointed into one position or the other in the past. If everyone who failed to have their way in the past left to join one mushroom party or another they wouldn’t have attained the height they did. This is their time to also make sacrifices for others to benefit as politics is about all and not just about self. Turning their backs at this time on the Party that made them speaks to extreme selfishness in dealing with human challenges. I make bold to state that if some of them have followers today it is simply because the party gave them a platform.

As Nwandugbom, I wish to plead with all those who are genuinely aggrieved to please sheathe their swords and look up to God Almighty who rewards every good work in His own time. Biblical Samson pulled down the roof but not many recognized that he merely committed suicide because of a woman.

Without a doubt, some were wronged. The process was arguably not perfect. The consultations were perceived in some quarters as inadequate and not far reaching enough. Yet, we have opportunity to learn, try again next time and seek improvements. That can only happen if we all remain within the umbrella and work hard for the people of Abia State, improve service delivery to them and correct those things we didn’t get right.

I am confident Prof Uche Ikonne is more than capable of birthing improvements in service delivery to our people, hence, I will be voting for him and his running mate in 2023.

Ka Uche Ndi Abia mee!!!

-Nwandugbom JOK


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