The Bishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Sunday Onuoha, has on Saturday emerged as the governorship candidate of the All Democratic Congress (ADC) for the 2023 general elections in Abia State.
Mr Onuoha polled 330 votes to defeat his rival, Otisi Ukiwe, the 41-year-old son of the former military vice president, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), who polled 160 votes.
Declaring the result, returning officer Nkem Ukandu announced the cleric as the duly elected ADC governorship candidate.
In a post-election speech, Mr Onuoha congratulated Mr Otisi for being part of the contest and promised to run an all-inclusive government, if elected.
Bishop Onuoha said that his emergence marked a new beginning for Abia.
“Abia people have spoken this night. They said they want a man of integrity, honesty and vision to lead them. They said they want a paradigm shift and I hereby offer myself to serve,” the clergyman said.
The exercise, which took place at Kolpin Society, Umuahia, under the heavy presence of security operatives, was hitch-free.
It attracted an unprecedented number of Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) from across party lines.
In an interview with NAN, the state President of the Joint National Association of PWDs, Wisdom Kalu, said they came to show solidarity with the clergyman.
Mr Kalu said in spite of party affiliations that they came to show solidarity with the bishop, adding that “Only 76 members of our association, who are card-carrying members of ADC, voted as party delegates.
“What you are seeing today is a reward to the bishop, who has never stopped to show us love and care, even when others abandoned us. For us, this is a payback time,” Mr Kalu added.
Another member of the association, Chukwuemeka Anyim, said he was happy and excited over the cleric’s victory, and that “this is the first time PWDs in Abia would participate in the primary election of any political party in the state.”
Mr Anyim, therefore, urged other political parties to emulate the ADC by involving disabled persons acting in their activities.