From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
There is mixed feelings in the Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as feelers emerged last night that stakeholders have endorsed the governorship bid of Prof. Uchenna Ikonne, former vice chancellor of the state-owned university.
Multiple sources said last night that leading party figures in the state had zeroed in on the professor of Optometry, ahead of the gubernatorial primaries slated for between tomorrow and Thursday, following a strong argument by the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led cabinet members on the need to give every part of the state a sense of belonging.
Although Ikonne hails from the same Abia Central with Ikpeazu, she is from the Old Aba Division, not the Ngwa Block, where the present governor comes from, a party leader stated last night in apparent defence of the move.
“We realised that even if the Abia Central Senatorial district is still in power, giving the ticket to Ikonne would just mean reversing the flow of the zoning principles in the state. It means having gone round, Abi North to South and now Central, the central is starting the process again. That is what the real equity is about. We cannot continue to talk about zoning between the three zones without thinking of the old blocks in the state”, he said.
A Government House source, however, said PDP was not unmindful of the strength and weakness of the party in the state. He said the party is weak in the North, dominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by former governor and Chief Whip ofb the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. The party is also strong in the South senatorial district led by former governor, Senator Theodore Orji and in the Central.
“We know that Kalu came into power from the Old Bende bloc; Orji came from the Old Umuahia bloc and Ikpeazu is from Ngwaland. What happened to the Old Aba Division, now merged into the Central district? Those are the considerations.”
It was, however, gathered that some aspirants in the party were not happy with the decision and may opt out of the process.