My Aspiration to Become the Igwe of Uli Rooted in Service and Love – Igbonwelundu
Mr Ichie Ositadinma Igbonwelundu, a prominent contender in the race for the next Igwe of Uli ancient kingdom, expressed his unwavering commitment to serving the people of Uli and his genuine affection for them. During a meeting with his supporters in Lagos, Ichie Igbonwelundu reassured them that his desire to ascend the throne of his ancestors was driven by a deep sense of service and unconditional love for the community.
Addressing the gathering, Ichie Igbonwelundu emphasized the importance of adhering to due process throughout the campaign and urged his supporters to uphold it diligently. He took the opportunity to once again dispel baseless rumors and allegations concerning his involvement with the defunct Uli Microfinance Bank (UMB). Specifically, he clarified that there was no truth to the claims that he had borrowed money from the bank using his property as collateral without repaying the loan or surrendering the house to the bank.
As the founding chairman of the Uli Community Bank (UCB), which later transformed into UMB, Ichie Igbonwelundu categorically stated that throughout his 17-year tenure as chairman, he never took a loan for himself or on behalf of his family and friends. He emphasized that his role as chairman did not involve the day-to-day management of the bank. Furthermore, he recounted an incident during his tenure when the board discovered unauthorized loans being disbursed, resulting in the immediate dismissal of the responsible manager.
Drawing from his extensive banking experience, Ichie Igbonwelundu clarified that he stepped down as Chairman in 2008 following the Annual General Meeting. He assured the gathering that the bank’s accounts, board meeting minutes, annual returns, and other crucial decisions made during his tenure were meticulously documented, audited by an external firm, and approved by the board. He also stated that he still possessed copies of these documents, which were available for scrutiny by anyone interested.
Highlighting the financial success of the bank, Ichie Igbonwelundu revealed that it recorded a profit after tax of over N11 million six years after his chairmanship ended. This demonstrated the bank’s financial stability and growth during and following his tenure.
Discussing the allegation that he was involved in denying Uli the opportunity to be included in the Mbaisato Local Government Area, Ichie Igbonwelundu vehemently refuted the claim, dismissing it as a fabrication. He clarified that local government creation was a constitutional matter solely within the purview of the federal government. He recounted his own efforts, along with others, to advocate for the creation of the local government area for Uli. However, the government ultimately granted the status to Ekwusigo and Ozubulu.
Recounting his extensive contributions to the progress of Uli, Ichie Igbonwelundu highlighted his active involvement since 1986 and reiterated his unwavering commitment to supporting the town’s development, unity, and peace.
Providing insights into the process of electing an Igwe, Ichie Igbonwelundu explained that the town’s constitution outlined a four-tier democratic approach. According to the constitution, the eldest man in each of the four villages comprising Uli (Umuaku, Umuoma, Eziama, and Ihite), the Oluohas, and the Council of Chiefs, in consultation with the Uli Progressive Union (UPU) General Assembly, are responsible for voting and selecting the candidates.
In conclusion, Ichie Ositadinma Igbonwelundu assured his supporters that they were endorsing the most qualified candidate for the role of Igwe, emphasizing his track record, integrity, selflessness, and dedication to truth, fairness, and justice.