Ekweremadu Nuremberg Debacle: A Misplaced Aggression
By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu
Yesterday being Saturday, the 17th of August, 2019, the world witnessed a shameful fiasco when the former Deputy Senate President and serving Senator, Chief Ike Ekweremadu was disgracefully mobbed by alleged members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the diaspora new yam festival in Nuremberg, Germany. The catastrophic event has raised a lot of eye brows for the fact that it sends a very wrong signal about the state of leadership in Nigeria. On the other side it is viewed as an eruption of an agelong bottled-up discontent and apparently disdain, Igbos and indeed Nigerians have for their leaders.
The reason is not far-fetched. In a country where the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer in the midst of plenty, there is bound to be discontent among the grassroots. The situation has also been aggravated by the obvious bad leadership in the country which is characterised by ethnocentrism, insecurity, cluelessness, economic meltdown and religious biase. As a result of all these, the people are bound to react when the conditions of living becomes very unbearable for them. That is the remote cause of the Nuremberg debacle.
However, while I don’t support the shameless actions of the suspected IPOB members, I don’t also blame them for overreacting. As human beings, Igbos and Nigerian citizens who see themselves as being continuously marginalized and oppressed in their own country, they have the right to register their grievances with their leaders. Since the end of the Civil War in 1970 the “No Victor, No Vanquished” declaration by the then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon has remained a mirage. Ever since, the Igbos have constantly been sidelined, oppressed, suppressed and brutally murdered in their own country as if they were foreigners.
The latest of such mistreatment, which I believe could have led to the Nuremberg Debacle is the surprising proscription of the non-violent IPOB and the resultant Operation Python Dance; which led to the massacre of scores of unarmed Igbo youths by the Army. Whereas the fully armed Fulani Herdsmen and their Miyetti Allah sponsors who have issued seditious public threats and backed it up with bloodshed are being pampered with kid gloves, by the same Federal Government which ordered the attack on IPOB members. Such obvious ethnic biase exhibited by the President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government can only escalate suppressed ethnic tension in the country.
The foregoing was also made worse by the culpable silence and even complicity by some foremost Igbo leaders over the marginalization and gross maltreatment of their people. Nevertheless, if there is any Igbo leader who deserves such ignoble treatment from his people, it certainly is not Sen Ike Ekweremadu. I am not holding brief for anyone, but in my view, Sen. Ekweremadu has been outspoken in support of the Igbos, even as a Deputy Senate President. When the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu was detained by the Federal Government, it was Sen Ekweremadu that got Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe to stand as surety for his bail. I also know that he never supported the Operation Python Dance against IPOB members. The records are there.
Instead, there are some Igbo elites who have both in words and action openly worked against the overall interest of the Igbos such as Rochas Okorocha and his son-in-law Uche Nwosu, Joe Igbokwe, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige, Orji Uzor Kalu, Osita Okechukwu, Willy Obiano, Ken Nnamani, Dave Umahi, etc [See their photos below]. These are the kind of people IPOB members and indeed Igbos should be holding responsible for their continual marginalization in Nigeria. Leadership comes with responsibility.
Any leader who fails in his duty should be held accountable by the people he is leading. Therefore, until the above mentioned supposed Igbo leaders are made to account for the role the played in the suffering of the Igbos, there may never be peace and progress in Igbo land. That is why I strongly opine, that the attack on Sen Ike Ekweremadu by suspected IPOB members in Nuremberg Germany, is simply an unfortunate case of a misplaced aggression.
Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu ; email@example.com