OHANEZE Ndigbo UK has disassociated itself from yesterday’s violent assault on former deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany saying the action by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) is condemnable.
Yesterday, Senator Ekweremadu, the lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial District, was due to be the guest speaker at the New Yam Festival of the Igbo community in Nuremburg in Germany. However, he was physically assaulted by Ipob members, with his top torn to shreds, as the separatist group vented their anger on him.
According to Ipob, which is campaigning for an independent Igbo state to be known as Biafra, other leaders marked for such attacks include governors David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Willie Obiano of Anambra states. Ipob added that it also had in its sights Chief Nnia Nwodo, the president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, who is accused of supporting the military manoeuvre Operation Python Dance in southeast Nigeria.
Responding to the attack, Dr Nnanna Igwe, the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK, said: “Shocking, sordid, unfortunate and disgraceful videos of the most barbaric attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu hit the social media since yesterday. It is very disappointing that Ipob has claimed responsibility.
“This act is totally and wholesomely condemnable and has no place in a democratic and civilised society. Senator Ekweremadu has been a responsible leader and strong voice for Ndigbo in Nigeria and he helped negotiate the bail of Nnamdi Kalu and secured his freedom.
“The Cultural Festival in Germany by Ndigbo was an opportunity to showcase Igbo greatness via our noble culture and tradition worthy of emulation. The disruption of the cultural fiesta, the altercation and associated pandemonium are taboo to Ndigbo and represented Ndigbo in a bad light and is a damaging blow to the Igbo image across the world.
“This uncivilised action portrayed us as miscreants, barbaric and violent people. This approach in resolving disputes or differences must be condemned in its entirety and clearly unacceptable.
“Any further threat on Igbo leaders by Ipob is unacceptable and be abandoned forthwith. At this time in Igbo history we face unusual collective challenges as a race and as a people. We need peace and unity to move forward.
Perpetrators of this terrible attack must be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent. I enjoin Ndigbo globally to embrace peace, unity, love, dialogue, diplomacy and respect for one another. Ndigbo will triumph overwhelmingly with unity of purpose.”