Abia State Gov, Okezie Ikpeazu, who is the candidate of PDP, is not alone in the March 9 election contest.
The governor, who is seeking a second term, will slug it out with major contenders from other parties. Governor Ikpeazu is from the Southern part of the state, and people from the zone believe it is their turn to remain on the saddle for the next four years.
Abia has a rotational arrangement for the governorship position among Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South. The arrangement is being implemented religiously by the current crop of leaders.
According to them, rotation is the recipe for peace and progress irrespective of the performance of the person in office. However, this has not stopped candidates of other political parties from challenging Governor Ikpeazu.
Dr Alex Otti is one of them and is contesting on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
An Ngwa man in the central zone, Otti who felt dissatisfied with the PDP process dumped the party in 2014 and picked the ticket of APGA.
For the Ngwa people of the central district, including Isiala Ngwa, Obioma Ngwa and Ossisioma, the APGA candidate will be their rallying point based on the belief that Otti and the party he is riding on are popular in Abia State.
Mr. Otti is also believed to have some links with the Arochukwu people in the northern district, which will make him have inroad into the zone to catch some votes.
Otti has said in several fora that his vision is “to restore the glory of Abia and make her truly number one state in Nigeria as God’s Own State.”
However, his refusal to allow the zoning formula that would allow his kinsmen in the southern district produce a governor might rob him of votes in that district.
Dr. Uche Sampson Ogah is also in the race on the platform of APC.
He is from Isuikwuato Local Government Area in the northern district, same as Ikpeazu. He also emerged as consensus candidate of his party, hence giving him some edge. Issues relating to zoning might not be a problem to him. The APC candidate who is an industrialist, sits atop a flourishing conglomerate with diversified business interests.