ABIA PDP STANDS TALL ALWAYS AS CHIEF OKEY AHIWE EMERGES WINNER OF ABIA PDP PRIMARY ELECTION TO REPLACE PROF. UCHE IKONNE
The successful and peaceful conduct of the just concluded Abia PDP primary election and the emergence of Chief Okey Ahiwe, former Chief of Staff to governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu as the replacement for the former candidate, Prof. Uche Ikonne who passed away on January 25, 2023 has once again shown that the PDP is after all, the strongest and best Party in Abia State and ultimately headed for victory in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
When the unfortunate death of Prof. Uche Ikonne was announced, uninformed naysayers, especially those with deep seated hatred for the PDP and the government that it serves predicted doom for the PDP. As we mourned with Abians of good conscience, many contrarians took to a wild goose chase in expectation of imminent implosion and sang nunc dimittis for the PDP in Abia.
Despite their expectations of failure and frustration, we trudged on, and held internal consultations during our period of great grief, with the knowledge that the future will always be better for us. When the guber seat was justifiably re-zoned to Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, the home LGA of late Prof. Ikonne, hell was let loose with all manner of characters claiming ownership of the ticket and trying very hard to cause confusion and put the primary election in jeopardy.
Despite all their permutations, we did not give them the opportunity to gloat over our misfortunes and the emergence of Chief Okechukwu Ambrose Ahiwe, as the PDP guber candidate for the 2023 Abia governorship election has more than any other factor in recent times made the Abia PDP stronger than it has ever been. Today, Abia PDP is more united, more formidable and above all more focused to take on the challenges of governance presented by the ever-changing dynamics of global politics and economics.
And to the chagrin of the opposition, all the sub-ethnic political blocs in Abia PDP are united and in agreement with the position of the Party on where the next governorship of Abia State should reside. It is obvious that the challenge that arose from our misfortune invariably strengthened the fabrics that hold the pillars of our unity.
In line with the PDP tradition of going for the best whenever it wants to select a ship captain, the choice of Okey Ahiwe is a superb confirmation of that excellent tradition. Aged 57 and at the prime of his life in terms of optimal productivity and soundness of mind, there is no better choice for the governorship of Abia than the man we have presented in the race. Schooled in one of Africa’s best universities; the University of Lagos with a sound degree in Political Science and a Master degree in the same discipline from the State-owned Abia State University that delivers home-grown solutions for global challenges, Okey Ahiwe is a perfect fit for the job.
As a true party name, Chief Ahiwe is not a stranger to the intrigues that define local politics. Having served at different levels of the Party operations, he is fully exposed and well acquainted with the art and science of politics and these will enable him to navigate the murky and shark-infested waters of local politics and come out a survivor and still balance all the disparate political, social and economic interests for the benefit and satisfaction of all.
As a Party man, with deep knowledge of Abia politics, Chief Ahiwe has served the PDP in many capacities including as Member of the National Sub-committees for the herculean task of conducting PDP primaries in Cross River and Oyo States. He was also the Coordinator of Coordinators for the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in 2019.
It is little wonder that Chief Ahiwe was the natural choice for the position of Chief of Staff to governor Okezie Ikpeazu when the penultimate Chief of Staff, Prof. A. C. B. Agbazuere vacated his position to pursue an elective position to represent the good people of Isiala Ngwa North and South Federal constituency.
On assumption of office as the Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Okey Ahiwe brought his expertise to bear on that position and people close to him and the governor have testified to his optimal performance in that position and that has helped to scale the value of governance in Abia State to a higher level.
Having served as Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Ahiwe is at home with the rudiments of public policy and administration and his candidacy represents the quest of Abians for continuity with the good governance of the PDP in Abia in the last eight years.
The position of the Chief of Staff is admittedly, the best training ground for successor governors because of its closeness to the office of the governor. As the manager of the men who execute the policies of the administration through the governor, he oversees the entire process of policy implementation and has first hand knowledge of what governance is all about.
This can be exemplified with the excellent performance of governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who served as a Chief of Staff to Mr. Rotimi Amechi, learned a lot about Rivers State and ultimately out-performed his boss in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State.
The emergence of Chief Okey Ahiwe as the guber candidate of the PDP in the 2023 Abia governorship race a few weeks to the conduct of the March 11, 2023 governorship election will no doubt deepen the already known trajectory of the contest for the benefit of PDP and Abians in general.
As an individual he is running on the fortune of being youthful in form and character. He is personable, accessible, humble, exposed, and above all a Party man who is widely known across the length and breadth of Abia even beyond Party lines. He is a bridge builder whose contacts and networks as a true leader have purchased countless followership for him.
As a Party, the PDP is more than ever poised to retain its position as the default political Party in Abia State and the misfortune that befell the Party a fortnight ago made it come out bigger, stronger and more reliable.
What happened to PDP in the days past will break many a political Party, but as the largest Party in Africa with grassroots followership across the 36 States of Nigeria and the federal capital territory, the PDP remains the most viable and vibrant Party in Nigeria and remains the last man standing in the class of 1998/1999 political Parties that heralded the Fourth Republic.
And in Abia State, the PDP has become like the proverbial wine that matures with time. Despite all the tumult of the past days, Abia PDP stands tall always. It is only in Abia that there is no strong opposition without the government using the State apparatus to coerce the opposition into submission as experienced in other States. It is not rocket science but the product of good governance which yields to peace and tranquility.
As we congratulate Chief Okechukwu Ambrose Ahiwe on his emergence as the newly elected guber candidate of the PDP in Abia State and pledge our full and unalloyed support, we thank the governor of Abia State, His Excellency Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, the deputy governor, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ude Oko Chukwu, the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Engr. Chinedum Ennyinnaya Orji, the State Party Chairman, Rt. Hon. Dr. Alwell Asiforo Okere, Abia PDP Council of Elders, members of the Abia PDP State Caucus, members of the State Working Committee, SWC, members of the enlarged State Executive Committee, SEC, delegates, PDP faithful and every Abian who in one way or the other contributed to the successful conduct of the just concluded Abia PDP guber primary election.
We call on the PDP faithful across the State to remain resolute and trust in the ability of the leadership of the Party to lead us to victory even as we call on everyone of us, including members of the opposition to join hands with us to build the Abia of our collective dream and secure the future of our children and the generations to come after them. That is a solemn responsibility we owe ourselves.
Once again, congratulations Chief Okey Ahiwe!
PDP – Power to the People!
Hon. Elder Abraham Amah
Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary