Okey Ahiwe, who resigned unannounced a few days ago as chief of staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, has emerged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state
Mr Ahiwe emerged from Saturday’s rerun primary election held at the Umuahia Township Stadium, having defeated four other aspirants, including the Deputy Governor Ude Oko-Chukwu.
He replaces Uche Ikonne, a professor, who died on 25 January, following a brief illness.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Ahiwe secured 469 votes, followed by Mr Oko-Chukwu and Lucky Igbokwe, who polled 12 votes each.
Other contestants, including Samson Orji got 11 votes, while Emma Nwaka, a former PDP chairperson, got no vote.
A total of 12 of the 504 votes cast during the exercise were voided.
NAN reports that Eric Opah, Ezinwanyi Jonah and a former commissioner for Works, Bob Ogu, stepped down from the race for Mr Ahiwe.
The Returning Officer for the exercise, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, declared Mr Ahiwe the winner of the election.
Earlier in a speech, Mr Obaseki described the exercise as a process that would strengthen democracy.
“As long as the process has been done the party would mobilise all the necessary resources to support the candidate,” he said.
In an acceptance speech, Mr Ahiwe said his emergence was a “consensus building” and victory for all the members of the PDP.
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“I encourage all the contestants to join hands with me to take the party to the next level.
“And by the grace of God, we will win all our elections,” he further said.
Mr Ahiwe, 57, hails from the same Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area with late Ikonne.
In the aftermath of Ikonne’s death, the state PDP caucus micro-zoned the governorship ticked to the area to compensate the people.
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