The Abia chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been thrown into mourning, following the death of its Governorship Candidate, Prof. Uche Ikonne. The party said the incident had shattered the party faithful in the state and beyond.The Vice Chairman of the party (Abia North) and Acting Publicity Secretary, Chief Abraham Amah said this on Wednesday, when he formally addressed newsmen in Umuahia on the death of the party’s flag bearer. Amah said: “Abia PDP has received the sudden news of the death of our Governorship Candidate, Ikonne.“For us it was very very unfortunate at this time, mindful that he was already recuperating and giving an indication that he would soon join the campaign. “The bitter truth is that he is dead. His death has shattered every PDP member in Abia and Nigeria in general. “It is a sad day for everybody,” the PDP chieftain said. He said that the State Working Committee had done a letter of condolence and meeting to send a delegation to his family. Amah said the party has suspended its ongoing ward-to-ward campaign for three days. He also said that a condolence register would be opened at party Secretariat, while the party’s flag would fly at half mast for one week.Amah recalled that the party recently lost its former state Chairman, Chief Ndidi Okereke, and another party stalwart, Chief Paulinus Umeh.He, however, expressed optimism that the party would get over the effect of the huge losses. According to him, the unfortunate incidents would not undermine the party’s electoral fortunes in the upcoming polls in the state.“In politics, its easier to manage crisis occasioned by natural causes than the crisis caused by political differences,” Amah said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ikonne, a Professor of Optometry, died at the National Hospital, Abuja in the early hours of Wednesday. He was the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the State University, Uturu.He was last seen at a public function on Nov. 24, 2022, during the launch of the party’s state-wide campaign at the Umuahia Township Stadium.He reportedly took ill at the peak of the ceremony, while making a speech, and was rushed to hospital from the stadium. (NAN)

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