From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The founder of Gregory University Uturu (GUU), Prof Gregory Ibe, has debunked an online report that he said some elders in Abia took an oath to support Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as governor in 2019.
A statement by his media team titled, “We took oath with kola nut to support Ikpeazu as governor – a rejoinder”, said the story was built around a telephone interview granted by Prof Ibe to a local radio station in Umuahia last Tuesday.
The statement noted that in response to a question posed by the interviewer Ibe narrated an incident that took place in 2019 when selected Elders of Ukwa Ngwa visited their brethren of Abia North block to solicit their support for the re-election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in that year’s general election.
It said that while narrating the story of the visit, Ibe mentioned that after receiving their guests with traditional kola nut, the Ukwa Ngwa elders went ahead as it is customary to reciprocate their hosts’ gesture by presenting them with their own basket of kola nut.
Ibe said that the ‘oath-taking with kola nut’ alluded to in the said online publication was not a fetish activity but a potent traditional technique deployed by the Elders present at the meeting as a way of cementing their agreement.
He said the terms of agreement reached by the two parties during the meeting stipulated that while Abia North guaranteed support for Governor Ikpeazu’s re-election, Ukwa Ngwa on the other hand pledged to return the favour by supporting the bid for power rotation back to Abia North in 2023.
Ibe said as a devout Christian, whose dislike for fetishism is legendary, he can never be party to any such unholy and unwholesome practice.