Phillip Okey-Igwe, the running mate to the deceased Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Abia State, Prof Uche Ikonne, has challenged an attempt by the party to substitute him, saying he is still the substantive deputy governorship candidate of the party.
This was sequel to reports that Jasper Uche had been chosen as the running mate to the new PDP governorship candidate in the state Chief Okay Ahiwe.
Okey-Igwe, in a statement on Tuesday, stated that his candidature subsisted in accord with the constitution and the Electoral Act.
He appealed to his supporters to remain calm, law-abiding and stay the course towards his victory, adding that the attempted substitution shall surely fail.
The statement partly read, “I wish to use this medium to thank all my supporters, fans and all Abians of good will for your phone calls and show of concern in the face of attempted substitution of my candidature as the duly nominated and subsisting deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, Abia State, for the 2023 elections.
“I have committed my soul, resources and energy to the course of victory for our party since my nomination alongside my late boss. My boss died, and I have accepted his death, albeit painfully, as the will of divinity. Yet, my candidature subsists in accord with the constitution and our Electoral Act.
“Indeed, certain entrenched interests that were opposed to what Prof and myself represented towards charting the course of a new, sustainable Abia, have arisen against me.”
He said he would advise them to see reason, exercise due caution and understand that their attempt to “unlawfully” subvert his candidature shall fail and worse still render the PDP governorship candidature inchoate, saying “that will amount to pulling the rug from under the feet of our great party.”
He urged his supporters to remain law-abiding and stay the course towards victory.