Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, will have to fight for the ticket to contest the 2019 governorship poll in his second term bid as the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thursday declared that there would be no automatic ticket.
The decision to throw open the party tickets for elective political positions was taken by the State Working Committee (SWC), which is the highest decision making organ of the party at its meeting in the party secretariat.
Ikpeazu has been getting the endorsements of several communities and organisations across the state that have adopted him as their sole candidate for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
But the state Chairman of PDP, Johnson Onuigbo, who read a seven-point communiquÃ© of the SWC to journalists after the meeting, said: â€œAll offices for 2019 elections are open and contestable in line with Abia Charter of Equity and PDP zoning formula.â€
â€œIn line with the above (open contest for party tickets) there shall be a level playing ground for all aspirants irrespective of position,â€ he said, adding that the party has resolved to â€œdo away with all manner of impositions and impunity.â€
By retaining the zoning arrangement, the SWC of PDP has shut out governorship aspirants from outside Abia South senatorial zone hence only aspirants from the favoured zone would be eligible to vie for the governorship ticket with Ikpeazu.
Nonetheless, the SWC passed a vote of confidence on Ikpeazu â€œbased on his excellent performance so farâ€ while the party chairman got a pat on the back â€œfor transparency and effective leadershipâ€.
Onuigbo said that the SWC members were not under any form of pressure in taking all the decisions including passing a vote of confidence on the state governor.
He urged all PDP faithful to remain loyal, steadfast and to continue to have confidence in the leadership of the ruling party, adding that the supremacy of the party as contained in the Constitution of PDP would not be compromised.