Abians are saddened by the death of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election, Prof. Eleazar Uche Ikonne, condolences from various political parties, colleagues and likes.
They include the state governor Okezie Ikpeazu, All Progressives Grand Alliance gubernatorial candidate, Greg Ibe, PDP state leadership, African Democratic Congress state chapter and many others.
In a press statement he personally signed, the state governor ordered all flags of PDP offices in Abia State to be lowered to half-mast, suspending all campaign activities of the party at all levels until January 30, 2023.
He appealed to all PDP leaders and members to remain calm “as we navigate this difficult time together”.
According to the Vice Chairman/Acting Abia PDP State Publicity Secretary, Abraham Amah, “His (Ikonne) death is very painful, it came at a time when he was recovering from illness and showed great signs and desire to join us in the second phase. The 17 localities in Abia State Our district-by-district tour that is taking place in the 184 districts of the government areas.
“Following his death, the state party hierarchy suspends all campaign activities from tomorrow for three days as a mark of respect and love for the soul of our fallen compatriot.”
The party has called on PDP members to remain calm and wait for further instructions from the leadership of the party.
Sir Longman Nwachukwu, General Manager, Gregory Ibe Campaign Organisation, APGA’s Abia State governorship candidate, Ibe, has “come across the unfortunate death of the flag bearer of the PDP governor, Professor Uche Ikonne”.
He commiserated with the Abia State Government, especially Governor Ikpeazu, and the PDP family over the death of the erudite scholar and eminent son of Abia.
Ikonne, he said for his numerous transformations in the field of optometry across the nation and his contributions to the development of Abia State, especially in the education sector.
As a mark of honor to the late Ikonne, Ibe, who was a gubernatorial candidate and colleague in the academic profession, Ibe announced the immediate suspension of all political activities, publishing campaign materials and airing radio and television jingles until further notice.
Abia ADC president, Don Norman, lamented, “a good man has gone.”
He added: “It’s mysterious how good people don’t last. Professor Uche Ikonne has left this earth, but he never leaves, because he lives on in our hearts and minds, through us, he lives on.”
Also, the governorship candidate of the Accord Party in the state, Emeka Nwankpa, described Prof. Ikonne as a decent brother, adding that his death came as a rude shock.
In his words, “Nothing can be sadder than the news of the death of Professor Uche Ikonne. He was a worthy brother and a candidate for the governorship seat.
“Although we were political opponents, we had mutual respect. I needed life to join me when I became governor to build a new Abia State.”
Ikonne was an optometrist by profession until his death and served in various positions in Abia State including as Chancellor of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba and Vice Chancellor of the state university, Abia State University Uturu.
The Chairman of the South-East Youth Leaders Coalition, Goodluck Ibem, lamented that the death of the erudite scholar was shocking.