That show of shame in Nuremberg, Germany
On Sunday, August 18, 2019, Nigerians woke up to the news of how a former Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, a serving Senator, Ike Ekweremadu was molested, and his clothes torn by some Igbo resident in Germany for no just reason. An event he was duly invited to as a special guest, the annual traditional celebration of New Yam Festival usually observed by the people of the South Eastern part of Nigeria turned sour for him. He was well received by the organizers. The show was on until some young men who identified themselves as Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), sighting Ekweremadu threw caution to the wind to embarrass this gentleman.
What could be their reason, many who watched the video clips on social media wondered? Till date, there is no sensible reason adduced by these men other than that he is a disappointment to the IPOB cause, what cause? Must every Igbo man and woman join their cause? That, how could he be in Germany for New Yam festival when there are killings going on in the South East? But, where is Nnamdi Kanu and these ‘self-righteous’ Igbo, are they in Nigeria? Certainly not! Is it in the same South East where my village, other villages, towns are celebrating the New Yam festival with fun and pageantry? Where are the killings going on in the South East with the way they have described it? Is the whole country – Nigeria not under attack by bandits? Again, we hear because he wore a top with Nigeria’s ‘Coat of Arms’ emblazoned on it to attend an Igbo affair. Is he not a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Those of them who are saying all these, what country’s international passport are they using? I think this group with their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who has claimed responsibility for this shameful act, missed the point totally and has practically killed IPOB and for whatever it stands. They have with this act buried the sympathy some people of the South East both home and in diaspora have for the group.
It was indeed a bad publicity for them, more so, when the same man stood for the group at the tough moment of their struggle. People will now view them as terrorists, as it is only a terrorist group that would exhibit such a violent act. They lack thinkers and strategists, people with vast experience in political struggle. They have further shown that they lack tolerance for opposing views. What stopped Kanu to have used the opportunity the occasion provided to deliver a powerful speech at the disappointment, anger of his group at the way our leaders have left Igbo land to continue to decay? He would have used that platform to reveal the wickedness, deceit of our leaders to the world. He would have told, shown to Ekweremadu and the world right there the disaster in Aba, the shame of Onitsha – Enugu road, the complete mess of Umuahia – Aba – Port Harcourt road. Kanu had the chances to have revealed to the gathered crowd and the world the massive looting of the treasury by our governors. How the country is under the grip of bandits yet there is a government. But, no, he chose the way of the street.
Nnamdi Kanu bungled the good opportunity he had at the visit of Ekweremadu to prove to the world that indeed IPOB has good reasons to embark on their campaign. He resorted to campaign of calumny, violent act and intimidation. We must learn from history, imbibe new ways at attending to issues and resolving problems. There is a new order in Nigeria’s political journey and for every group to be at the political table it must have political skill, diplomatic prowess, strategic thinking. Would the Igbo have gained or lost if Ekweremadu was killed? We must embrace democratic ways of engaging our leaders irrespective of the situation.
Like late Odumegwu Ojukwu once said, nobody has the monopoly of violence, if it is your turn today, it may be someone else tomorrow. Again, this group, IPOB, has dented the image of the Igbo in Germany. Most of them there will now be on the watchlist of the German security agencies. Those trying to regularize their papers may now be denied and they face deportation. The genuine people of the South East with good intentions of travelling to Germany for business, tourism or any other will now face severe visa sanctions. The entire Europe, United States of America, and other countries will now have reasons to deny majority of Ndigbo with genuine reasons of their country’s permit. This is what an individual, the man his followers ascribe as messiah; Nnamdi Kanu has caused his people.
When some Igbo and that include me, disapproved of Nnamdi Kanu and his group, (IPOB), their methods, we were labeled and called all sorts of names. In fact, some said we are not Igbo, that we are cowards, saboteurs, and efulefus. I have always said and will continue to say it that, nobody’s father is more Igbo than my father. We are all sons and daughters of Igbo and have equal stake. No one man must decide how others move in their political direction because of his personal interest. Kanu, whose village is next to mine, cannot decide on the future political direction of Ndigbo. He just cannot! He does not possess the leadership credentials to lead the people of the South East to the Promised Land. A man with an imperial attitude, dictatorial tendencies, who refuses to come down from his utopian horse, lack respect for elders, people, cannot provide leadership compass for the people of the South Eastern part of Nigeria to follow. Ndigbo do not need such a leader!