Okey Ahaiwe, an ex-Chief of Staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has emerged the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.
Chairman of the Abia PDP primary committee, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, announced the winner following voting on Saturday.
Ahaiwe polled 469 votes to defeat his closest rivals, the deputy governor of the state, Ude Oko-chukwu and Lucky Igbokwe who scored 12 votes each.
Other contestants included a former chairman of the party, Senator Emma Nwaka, who had zero vote, and a former House of Assembly member, Sampson Orji, who got 11 votes.
A total number of 516 votes were cast during the special congress, and 12 votes were invalid.
Some of the aspirants including a former Commissioner for Works, Bob Ogu, a businessman, Eric Opia and a female candidate had earlier stepped down for Ahaiwe who hails from the same local government area as the late Prof Uche Ikonne.
Abia PDP zones vacant gov ticket to Ikonne’s LGA, Isiala Ngwa North
Obaseki assured the winner that the party will support him to win the governorship election in the state.
In his acceptance speech, Ahaiwe thanked the party delegates for electing him to fly the party colour in the forthcoming election.
He said he would bring his experience from the private and government sectors to move the state forward.
Ahaiwe replaces Prof Uchenna Ikonne who died on January 25, 2023.
A team from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by Festus Okoye, monitored the special convention.