By EMMANUEL OLONIRUHA
ABUJA- The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and the party National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu have described the death of the PDP Governorship Candidate in Abia, Prof. Eleazar Ikonne as a “rude shock”.
Abubakar in a statement by his Media Aide, Paul Ibe, on Wednesday, described Ikonne as an erudite scholar of repute with vast experience in administration.
Abubakar said that Ikonne’s contributions in advancing knowledge within the academic community would be appreciated by generations unborn.
The former Vice President recalled his last encounter with Ikonne during which he led a delegation of Abia PDP stakeholders to his residence in Abuja.
Abubakar said that Ikonne was at his intellectual best in the robust discussions that he had with his delegation.
“We shall miss his ever smiling face, wit and sense of humor which stood him out at all times.”
Abubakar said that as a strong member of the PDP, who should have led PDP to victory in the forthcoming general elections in Abia State, his death came as a rude shock.
The PDP presidential candidate expressed his deepest condolences to the deceased immediate family, all PDP members, the government and good people of Abia state, who were working to vote him into power next month.
In a separate statement, Ayu described late Ikonne as a true friend, loving father and devoted husband who valued family over everything else.
“He was a thorough-bred academic as well as an accomplished administrator.
“It is a testimony to his leadership acumen that he was appointed (on rescue mission) as the rector of the state-owned Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, between 2014 and 2015.
“Also in December 2015, he was appointed the 7th Substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Abia State University.
“Upon his retirement from the ivory tower, Ikonne joined the PDP, and was subsequently elected its Gubernatorial Candidate for the March 11 governorship election.”
Ayu condoled Ikonne’s family, the government and people of Abia as well as the PDP family nationwide, particularly the Abia State Chapter.
He prayed for God Almighty to grant him eternal rest and to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.(NAN)