…Sets records straight on UMB, proposed Mbaisato LG, others
As the race for who becomes the next Igwe of Uli ancient kingdom intensifies, a front runner, Ichie Nnanyelugo Emmanuel Clement Ositadinma Igbonwelundu on Sunday assured his supporters that his desire to ascend the throne of his forefathers was borne out of service and the unconditional love he has for Uli people.
Ichie Igbonwelundu gave the assurance at a meeting with some members of his support group in Lagos where he emphasized the need for them to ensure that due process was followed throughout the campaigns.
He also used the opportunity to once again, dismiss unfounded, rumours, and allegations that he borrowed money from the defunct Uli Microfinance Bank (UMB) using his country home as collateral but did not repay the loan nor relinquish the house to the bank.
Ichie Igbonwelundu, who was the foundation chairman, of the Board of Directors of Uli Community Bank (UCB) and midwived its successful transition to an UMB, categorically stated that at no time in his 17 years as the chairman of the bank, did he collect a loan nor request the bank to give same to any member of his family and friends.
He emphasized that as chairman, he was not responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the bank, adding that the only time under his watch that the board discovered that the management had given out loans without following laid down policy, the then manager was immediately sacked.
As an accomplished banker himself, Ichie Igbonwelundu, stated clearly that he stepped down as Chairman in 2008 after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of that year, adding that the accounts of the bank, all the minutes of the meetings of the board of Directors of the bank, Annual Returns and other key decisions taken under his watch were well documented, audited by an external firm and ratified by the board. He stressed that his copies of these documents were still intact and could be availed to anyone who desires to scrutinize them.
He further stated that the bank posted a profit after tax of over N11million six years after he had stepped down as its Chairman, which showed that the bank was doing well financially during and after his tenure.
Educating the gathering of the risks associated with banking, he maintained that certain decisions by some key external actors and regulatory bodies impacted the bank’s financial health, by sending the wrong signals to its depositors and creditors leading to panic withdrawals.
On the allegation that he was one of those who denied Uli the opportunity of being part of Mbaisato Local Government Area, Ichie Nnanyelugo vehemently denied the allegation, describing it as a figment of the imagination of the originators of such rumours.
He reminded the gathering that local government creation was a constitutional matter and an exclusive preserve of the federal government, narrating how he and some other persons (some of them are alive and can attest to this fact) made concerted efforts to get the government’s green light for the creation of the local government area but same was granted to Ekwusigo, Ozubulu.
Narrating the various roles he had played towards the progress of the town, he recalled that his active participation began in 1986 and he has not stopped doing everything within his power to support the development, unity, and peace of Uli.
Giving background on the processes of electing an Igwe, Ichie Nnanyelugo told the gathering that the town’s constitution explicitly provides a four-tier democratic approach.
He said that the constitution clearly states that the eldest man in the four villages that make up Uli: Umuaku, Umuoma, Eziama, and Ihite; the Oluohas, the Council of Chiefs in consultation with the Uli Progressive Union, UPU (General Assembly) will have to vote for the candidates of their choice.
Ichie Nnanyelugo assured his supporters that they were supporting the best man for the job, given his track record, integrity, selflessness, and commitment to truth, fairness, and justice.
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