By Steve Oko
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar;
immediate-past Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji; and former Senate President and Acting Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, have expressed shock and indignation over the death of Abia PDP governorship candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne.
Atiku in a statement by the Chairman, Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Abia State chapter, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, described Ikonne’s death as a big blow to the PDP family.
The Council announced immediate suspension of all Atiku’s political activities in the state till further notice in honour of the late Ikonne who it said had distinguished himself in all spheres of life.
Atiku commiserated with the members of the bereaved family, PDP and the Abia State Government over the tragedy, and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
The statement made available to Vanguard read in part: “The unfortunate demise of the late Ikonne was indeed a big blow to the PDP family both in the state and beyond. We mourn with members of his immediate family, Abia State Government and members as well as supporters of our great party.
“In honour of this fallen hero, Professor Ikonne who has distinguished himself in various spheres of life, the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Abia State, has suspended all political activities in the mean time until further notice.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the death of the governorship candidate of our great party has greatly slowed down our campaign train, but we strongly believe that PDP will still stand strong in the end because Abia is PDP, and PDP is Abia. We call for prayers and commitment of our members as we look forward to a victorious outing in the forthcoming polls.”
Senator Orji in his condolence message, said he received “with both shock and much indignation the sudden death of Prof Uche Ikonne”.
Describing the former Vice Chancellor as a personal friend and brother, Senator Orji condoled with members of the bereaved family, the Ngwa nation and PDP family.
“He was indeed, a dear friend, brother, fine gentleman and a huge asset of immense worth to the entire PDP family and especially Abia Central Senatorial District which has been worst hit by his passage.
“As man cannot question God, I join all Abians and indeed his family to mourn his departure, which is a bitter pill to swallow, while I pray God avails us the comfort in this period of grief”, the former Governor said.
In his response, Senator Wabara described Ikonne’s death as disastrous and very unfortunate.
The former Senate President who spoke with Vanguard, registered his condolences for the late Ikonne’s family in particular, PDP and all those affected by his unexpected demise.
” This tragedy, at a time we heard he was recuperating from a health challenge was indeed shocking, but we cannot question God.”
Senator Wabara urged the family to be consoled by the legacies left behind by the late Professor of Optometry who he said was an accomplished academic.
In a separate statement Abia Deputy Governor, Sir Oko Chukwu, expressed sadness over the loss of the PDP governorship candidate, described the loss as a big tragedy to the state.
The Deputy Governor who said the news of Ikenne’s death came to me with immense shock and painful devastation, condoled with his family, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, and Abia PDP.
The statement read in part:”I must confess that the sad and heart-rending news of the passing on of the erudite Professor of Optometry, came to me with immense shock and painful devastation and it will be stating the obvious that Abia State and the PDP have lost an illustrious son and personality at a time his services are further needed for our common good.
“I enjoin all of us affected by the sad and painful development to take solace in the fact that Professor Ikonne acquitted himself creditably and will be remembered for his solid contributions to the growth and development of our dear State in particular and Nigeria at large.”
Similarly, the Provost, Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu, Dr Philip Nto, has condoled with Ikpeazu over Ikonne’s death.
The Provost in a statement he personally signed, also commiserated with the family of Ikonne and his children over sudden demise of the former Vice Chancellor.
The Provost noted that the death came at a time the people of the state were warming up to elect Prof Ikonne as the next governor of the state.
Dr Nto described Prof Ikonne as a quintessential scholar and administrator whose headship of two tertiary institutions in the state gave Abia a milestone in education.
He said so many people were looking forward to the translation of the tiger economy formulated by the late Ikonne to reality before he sadly passed away.
The Provost urged Ikpeazu to take solace in the fact that Prof Ikonne left indelible footprints in Abia State.
He also asked PDP to take the death of the Governorship candidate in its strides and recover quickly to continue to provide leadership in the state.
The post Atiku, Sen Orji, Wabara, Abia deputy gov in shock over Ikonne’s death appeared first on Vanguard News.
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