Abia PDP to conduct primary within 14 days to replace deceased Ikonne – INEC

Abia PDP to conduct primary within 14 days to replace deceased Ikonne – INEC

Late Professor Uche Ikonne

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has directed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State to conduct a fresh primary election in the next 14 days to replace its governorship candidate, Professor Uche Eleazar Ikonne, who died on Wednesday of multiple cardiac arrests in Abuja.

INEC explained that the deputy governorship candidate of the party could not automatically assume the position of the gubernatorial candidate since the election was yet to start.

The Electoral Act stipulates that in the case of death of a candidate, a fresh primary should be conducted within 14 days from the date of death of the candidate.

INEC National Commissioner on Voter Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, explained that  in line with the provision of the Electoral Act, the party had the opportunity of conducting a fresh primary within 14 days.

The national commissioner stated, “He (the deputy governorship candidate) can only fly the flag if election has commenced. They have to hold a fresh primary within 14 days of the death and then they submit to INEC.”

Ikonne’s family has formally announced the death of the Abia PDP governorship candidate, saying he passed on by 4am at the National Hospital Abuja “after a brief illness”.

In a three-paragraph statement, the son of the deceased, Dr. Uche-Ikonne Chikezie, said his late father had shown signs of recovery after receiving, “proper treatment” abroad. Chikezie said his father relapsed in return and eventually succumbed to “multiple cardiac arrests.”

The statement “he was recovering after taking proper treatment in the United Kingdom but relapsed a few days ago leading to multiple cardiac arrests for which he didn’t recover from.”