….Call for arrest of culprits
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has condemned, in its entirety, the attack on the former Deputy Senate President and current serving Senator, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival held in Nuremberg, Germany.
Similarly, the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),South East zone, Chief Austin Umahi, has condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nurnberg, Germany.
Senator Ekweremadu who was attending as a speaker/special guest of honor at the event organized by the Ndi-igbo Germany community was beaten up and egged publicly.
Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement at the weekend, described the incident is an embarrassment to the country.
Reliable sources confirmed some of the culprits who perpetrated the act have been apprehended.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NDC, has therefore called on the German government and law enforcement agencies to ensure that there are consequences for their actions.
According to her, “It is also shamefully pathetic that an event which was nobly put together by the Ndi-Igbo community in Germany, whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, to amongst other things provide a forum for the Diasporans and various stakeholders to network and to facilitate a better cooperation between German and Nigerian businesses, ended up in such a disgraceful manner.
“We appeal to Nigerians to be of good behavior wherever they find themselves because such incidents tarnish the image of the country”, Dabiri-Erewa advised.
Also, the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),South East zone, Chief Austin Umahi, has condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nurnberg, Germany.
In a press statement from his Media Office, Chief Umahi frowned at the action of the group against Ekweremadu who he said has been on the forefront of the struggle against the marginalization of Ndi-Igbo in the Nigerian Federation.
The zonal Chairman said he was overwhelmed by surprise that some individuals could hide under the name of the proscribed IPOB to attack Ekweremadu after all his efforts as the leader of Southeast Senate caucus in the 9th Senate to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the self aclaimed leader of the group, from detention.
He said for Senator Ekweremadu to have travelled to far away Nurnberg in Germany to attend the second annual festival and covention organized by Ndi-Igbo resident there, was a demonstration of his undying love for Ndi-Igbo which he has been exhibiting over the years.
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 Ndi-Igbo both within and outside the country.
He also called for the arrest and prosecution of the pepertrators of the dastardly act to serve as a deterrent to others.
He however, advised any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate, to do so, through the Southeast Governors Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndi-igbo and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation; rather than resorting to self help.
Some members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Nuremberg, Germany, had on saturday attacked the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The Senator, who gave the account of the event on his social media handle, @iamekweremdu, however, assured Ndigbo and his supporters across the nation that he was safe.
Narrating the incident, Ekweremadu said: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however could not make it eventually.
“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.
“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organisers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.
“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency as well as rallied the South East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.
“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar”.
The attack was further confirmed in a statement issued by Mr Uche Anichukwu, the Media Aide to Senator Ike Ekweremadu.