The recent allegation contained in a petition against Chief Uzoma Ihuka linking him with an oath-taking scandal has been described as spurious, and a childish attempt to blackmail the popular philanthropist, ASOPADEC Commissioner and President of Ngwa Patriots Forum.
It would be recalled that this magazine recently published a report emanating from a petition signed by Mr. Monday Alili and addressed to the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Abia State, in which Chief Uzoma Ihuka was alleged to have been involved in an oath-taking scandal in a bid to determine the councillorship candidates for Umuoha Ward 9 and Ward 9B, all in Isiala Ngwa North LGA.
In the petition, Mr. Monday Alili, as councillorship aspirant for Ward 9B, had claimed that Chief Uzoma Ihuka compelled him and his counterpart from Ward 9 (Mr. Chinemezu Jonah) to take part in a ritual oath administered by Chief Ihuka, after which he had ordered them to step down for their co-contestants ahead of the party primaries.
However, responding to the allegation, Mr. Ogbonna Nwadinma, an eye witness in the matter who spoke with African Heritage Times, debunked the allegation as spurious, childish, malicious and ostensibly fabricated to blackmail Chief Uzoma Ihuka by those who feel threatened by Chief Ihuka’s rising political profile.
According to Mr. Nwadinma, “Chief Uzoma Ihuka is a well-known philanthropist and PDP stalwart whose commitment to the party transcends the Ward and LGA levels to the State level. He has no interest whatsoever in the councillorship elections except to help ensure peaceful, harmonious and credible conduct of the forthcoming elections in his community, particularly in Ward 9 and Ward 9B. It was in this regard and in very good faith that he hosted the meeting referred to in the petition, attended by party leaders, including the Ward 9 Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Nwala, and all the aspirants. I was present at the meeting and my name was also mentioned in the petition. During the meeting, food and drinks were served to everyone’s satisfaction. There was no such thing as oath-taking and Chief Ihuka is objectively outraged by the petitioner’s baseless claim in that respect. It is not only spurious but very childish, malicious and obviously fabricated to malign Chief Ihuka. There are pointers to the possibility that the petitioner may have been induced by those apparently threatened by Chief Ihuka’s rising political profile and seeking ways to pull him down.”
Also speaking on the issue, particularly the allegation that Chief Uzoma Ihuka ordered Mr. Monday Alili to step down as claimed in the petition, a prominent leader of the PDP in Isiala Ngwa North LGA who spoke to African Heritage Times on the condition of anonymity, said that Chief Ihuka had only advised Mr. Alili not to waste his resources trying to contest in an election that he was not even pre-qualified to contest. “The said meeting was a matter of party consensus and we all were aware of its agenda. As at the date of the meeting, contained in the petition, it was already known to the party leaders, including Chief Uzoma Ihuka, that Mr. Monday Alili did not have a Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and his membership status of the PDP could not have qualified him to run for the forthcoming elections on the party’s platform. That was why Chief Ihuka advised him like a father not to engage in the fruitless venture of contesting the elections, and magnanimously promised to refund him the sum of N170,000 which he claimed to have spent on purchase of forms, just for peace to reign in the Ward. So it would have been totally illogical for Chief Ihuka to still subject Mr. Alili to any form of oath-taking to compel him to step down, knowing that he (Alili) was not even pre-qualified to contest. It may interest you to know that as I speak now, Mr. Alili has been disqualified by the PDP LGA Elections Screening Committee, on the same grounds that Chief Uzoma Ihuka had advised him not to waste his resources. So, concerning the allegations in the petition, Chief Ihuka is already vindicated if you ask me.”
A reliable source within the ranks of the PDP in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, responding to the petition, also informed that few days to the commencement of the screening exercise for LGA chairmanship and councillorship aspirants by the PDP, Mr. Monday Alili was still a civil servant and staff of the Abia State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), implying that he had not resigned his appointment before purchasing nomination and expression of interest forms. The source dismissed Mr. Monday Alili’s petition as a mere hatchet job apparently aimed at tarnishing the image of Chief Uzoma Ihuka.
Other notable sources including stakeholders across political divides who shared their opinion with African Heritage Times regarding the petition, variously described Chief Uzoma Ihuka as ‘a principled man, a committed philanthropist, successful business man, practicing Christian and Knight of the Catholic Church who is not known to engage in acts that are at variance with his principles and hard-earned reputation.’ They condemned what they saw in the petition as ‘a slant of desperation and targeted character assassination’ for political purpose.