Anxiety is mounting in Abia State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the health of its governorship candidate, Prof Uche Ikonne who was reportedly flown abroad for treatment over undisclosed illness.
The last time the septuagenarian former vice-chancellor of Abia state university appeared in public was November 23, at the flag off of the party’s campaign at the Umuahia township stadium where he was presented to the public.
Ikonne’s state of health is being discussed in hushed voices within PDP circles and Abia political space. The concern has been heightened by the fact he has not seen anywhere in or outside the state since November 23, an unusual development for somebody running for the state’s number one job.
Sources close to PDP in the state who spoke to this reporter on the condition that his name will not be mentioned attributed Ikonne’s absence from the campaign trail to tiredness and the competing need to visit his children abroad.
“It is not news that our candidate has not been seen in public for a while. You know age is not on his side, he needed some rest to prepare for the rigours of the campaign. He is also using the opportunity to visit his family abroad”.
Another source while confirming that Ikonne travelled out of the country for undisclosed business, however, claimed that the PDP flagbearer returned to Nigeria via Enugu airport on Thursday.
Reacting to the news of Ikonne’s rumoured ill health, a prominent member of the opposition in Abia state told Akelicious that there is every reason for Abia indigenes to be worried about the PDP candidate’s health and indeed, that of other governorship aspirants in the state.
“People have the right to be worried, we need to know the truth, and not be lied to, he could end up being our governor next year”.
Efforts made to reach the spokesman of Ikonne’s campaign, Uche Aguoru, were unsuccessful. Calls to his phone went unanswered. He also did respond to questions texted to him as at the time of filing this report.