Magnus Eze, Enugu, Fred Itua and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Nduibuisi Orji, Abuja, Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki and and Dickson Okafor
AS widespread outrage trail the harassment and humiliation of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Federal Government has called on the German authorities to ensure that the mastermind face the consequences of their actions.
This is even as Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, South East governors, former Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume and Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, have condemned the attack carried out by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa also condemned the attack.The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said the attack cannot be justified under any guise, while Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, that the incident was pathetic, shameful and an embarrassment to Nigeria.
In separate interventions, they called on the Nigerian Embassy in Germany to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The incident took place on Saturday at the second annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany.
In a viral video, IPOB members were seen pelting Ekweremadu with objects from the hall down to the car that drove him away despite efforts by his aides to restrain them.
Uche Anichukwu, his media aide, in a statement, confirmed that Ekweremadu was physically assaulted by some members of the separatist group.
In a statement, yesterday, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), flayed the attack as an embarrassment to the country.
“It is also shamefully pathetic that an event, which was nobly put together by the Ndi-Igbo community whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, ended up in such a disgraceful manner,” she said.
Also, Senate President, Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, described the attack as ‘shameful and incredibly absurd.’
“The barbaric attack on Senator Ekweremadu at a forum to which he was invited to contribute to charting a course for the progress and happiness of Ndigbo debase our values as civilised people. It is most reprehensible and should be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians,” Mr. Lawan was quoted as saying.
South-East Governors Forum also decried the attack on the former Deputy.
Chairman of the forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, in a statement issued by Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, his Chief Press Secretary, said the issue of insecurity in the region, cited by IPOB as its reason, was not peculiar to the zone.
He said insecurity was a national issue, which rested squarely on the Federal Government’s control.
Deputy Senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, yesterday, equally expressed shock over the assault and called on law enforcement agencies in Germany to investigate and bring to book all those involved in the vicious attack.
On his part, Ndume said IPOB attacked one of the greatest Nigerian heroes.
“If they take recourse to immediate past, Ekweremadu is not the person they ought to attack, and indeed they have to stop such attack on anybody for that matter.”
For Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the attack is a brazen show of ingratitude to a man who has been at the fore front in the struggle for all that is good for the Igbo race. We condemn it.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, has promised to probe the attack when it resumes from its recess in September.
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Buba Yakub, said the House would also be seeking for protection for political exposed persons in foreign trip, henceforth.
Also reacting, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said it was saddening that some groups have turned the non-violence struggle for the actualisation of Biafra state, into an abusive and systematic Gestapo against the supposed citizens of Biafra.
MASSOB warned that it would not tolerate the grooming of authoritarian and imperial rulership in Igboland, under any guise because the republican nature of the Igbo did not support that.
National Director of Information, Edeson Samuel, in a statement, noted that Igbo culture abhors disrespect of elders and persons in authoritative positions.
Similarly, the PDP in the South East zone, Ohanaeze Ndigbo United Kingdom and Spain and the Igbo Community in Canada, yesterday, in separate statements, condemned the disgraceful act and called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
National Vice, Chief Austin Umahi, urged Ekweremadu not to be discouraged by the attack, but see it as one of the many sacrifices he has to pay in pursuit for justice and better treatment for Ndigbo both within and outside the country.
He advised any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate, to do so, through the Southeast Governors Forum (SEGF), the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation rather than resorting to self-help.
In its reaction, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK president, Dr. Nnanna Igwe, said the attack on Ekweremadu, disruption of the cultural fiesta, altercation and associated pandemonium were taboo to Ndigbo, which represented them in bad light and damaging blow to Igbo image across the world.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Madrid, Spain, in a statement, by Chief Ezejiofor Ferdinand Akpusi, described the act as an assault on the entire Igbo nation, and fault the claim by the attackers that Ekweremadu and other leaders have been silence over the killings and raping of women in Igbo land by herdsmen as false, saying the inhuman habit of IPOB members against the Senator is a misplacement of aggression
The board, executive and members of the Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) in a statement issued in Toronto, Canada by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahaoma Kanu, said it was grossly despicable, utterly shameful and a concentrated act of cowardice and show of weakness on members of the IPOB and their handlers.
Notwithstanding, IPOB has defended it’s action, saying it is a should serve as a warning to other Igbo leaders that they will be humiliated if found in a public event abroad.
Emma Powerful, IPOB’s spokesperson, said in a statement that the attack on Ekweremadu was in obedience to the directive given by Nnamdi Kanu, its leader.
The group said Ekweremadu is a “traitor”, who worked with “Igbo governors to proscribe and tag IPOB a terror organisation.”
Some Igbo leaders marked for similar attacks include David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, governor of Enugu state; Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state; and Willie Obiano, governor of Anambra State.
Nnia Nwodo, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, is also included in the list.
“This should serve as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and co that any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated.
“IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with.”