By Steve Oko
A group known as Abia Transformation Agenda Network (TAN), has expressed deep worry over the whereabouts of the governorship candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Professor Uche Ikonne.
The group said that his continued absence and lack of information about his health status have become worrisome, arguing that Abians should no longer be kept in the dark concerning his whereabouts.
National Coordinator of the group, Thomas Okoro, in a statement, accused the ruling party of “playing hide and seek with the collective destiny of Abians” by hiding information about the its governorship flag bearer.
“Abians deserve information about the whereabouts of your candidate who was last seen in public on November 22, 2022”, the statement said.
TAN said it would not longer keep quiet over the refusal of the PDP to volunteer information to curious Abians about the whereabouts of its governorship hopeful.
The statement read in part:“In Abia, there are varying speculations regarding where the 70 year old former Vice Chancellor is attending to his health since he allegedly collapsed at the Umuahia Township Stadium venue of the Abia PDP Campaign Flag off.
“We noticed that a faction of PDP who feel they would benefit if a swap happens, has been holding series of meetings on how to scale through the hurdle of replacement of candidate placed by the Electoral Act.
“Going by provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act that deals specifically with Withdrawal of a Candidate , “A candidate may withdraw his or her candidature by notice in writing signed by him and delivered personally by the candidate to the political party that nominated him for the election and the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the Commission not later than 90 days to the election.
“It is obvious that given the limitation of time and by statutes, the PDP in Abia State has no Governorship Candidate.
“Those who are benefitting from this quagmire are busy receiving millions of naira daily for campaigning for a candidate who cannot be found anyway.
“We want to bring to the notice of Abians that members of the PDP who are the architects of this game plan want to go into the elections with an absentee so that it will be very easy for them to have unfettered access to the State Treasury in the unlikely event that Ikonne wins.
” It is that vacuum of not having a functional Governor that is inspiring them to behave as if all do not have sense.
“If this is not true, why are they playing hide and seek? Why would they be spending billions of Abia funds campaigning for a man whose whereabouts is not known?
“We are worried that a State with an active population of over 4 million people will be pocketed by a few who we have entrusted our resources into their care.
“The pertinent question that shall be on the lips of every Abian is: ‘what are they hiding about Prof. Ikonne’s health?
” Apart from those who take Abians for a ride, which other people are making sure that Abians are ignored?
“We have always known that Ikonne has multiple godfathers. What we seek is for one of the Ikonne’s godfathers to be bold enough to tell Abians why they are making us look stupid.
“Only recently on a Radio Interview, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu admitted that: “Prof. Ikonne is sick and will return in the future.
“Ikpeazu was to later add salt to injury by confessing that, “Prof. Ikonne will return soon or later.
“We find this recant despicable and utterly deceitful. We will continue to ask: WHERE IS PROF. IKONNE?”
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