Saturday, February 22, 2020
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That Attack on Ekweremadu

Nigeria is a lawful country and citizens of the country are expected to behave in  accordance with the laws of the land. They are also expected to keep the laws of their host countries wherever they find themselves.

It is forbidden for Nigerian citizens to take the laws into their hands when they feel aggrieved about issues, which is why the weight of the law is thrown against perpetrators of crimes such as mob action. 

It is in the light of this that we condemn the recent attack on immediate past deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu. About a fortnight ago, a video of a man being attacked by a mob was the trending topic across social media platforms. The victim of the attack turned out to be the immediate past deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu. The attack occurred in Nuremberg, Germany, where the victim had gone to attend the second annual cultural festival and convention of Ndi-Igbo, in that country. The attackers, members of the  Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), who have since owned up to the condemnable act, accused Ekweremadu of supporting a military operation code-named ‘Operation Python Dance’, in the south-east part of the country in 2017 and of, together with other south-east leaders, being behind the proscription of IPOB by the federal government. IPOB also alleged that Ekweremadu and the other Igbo leaders were not doing enough to address the insecurity in the south-east region.
Such acts of violence, no matter the justification for them, as the attackers have tried to do, are condemnable.The arm twisting tactic by IPOB and resort to violence against leaders of Igbo extraction for not supporting their separationist agenda through a referendum and tagging all not in support of the agenda as Igbo enemies and of blaming them about national issues over which they have no control should be condemned by all.

Every part of Nigeria is battling insecurity of one form or the other, kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed banditry in the north-east, insurgency in the north-east, herders-farmers and communal clashes in the north-central, kidnapping and armed robbery in the south east, west and south, so to blame the Igbo leaders for the insecurity in the zone is preposterous.

To put it clearly, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had in April, revealed that out of a total number of 1,071 homicides recorded nationwide in the first quarter of 2019, 767 occurred in the north and of the 685 kidnappings, the north recorded 365 or 79.8 per cent. Data from the IGP also showed that of the 212 major reported armed robberies, 130 or 59.43 per cent occurred in the north, with the north-central leading with 81 incidents. If this data is anything to go by, the south-east and by extension, the southern part of the country, appears to be faring better than the north.This latest act of violence by IPOB and threats to attack more leaders, justifies the proscription of the group by the federal government.While individuals and groups are at liberty to hold political ideologies, coercing or compelling others to be a part of this ideology is nonsensical and defies every logic.

Such behaviour must not be condoned.Thankfully, the action of IPOB has received condemnation from all right thinking members of the society and the governments of both countries. We are happy that arrests have already been made and call on the governments of Nigeria and Germany to cooperate with a view to prosecuting the arrested culprits and those still at large, with a view to ensuring that such an incident does not occur again. 

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