President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and his deputy, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, have condemned the shameful assault on former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by some persons said to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB on Saturday in Nuremberg, Germany.
This is even as the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu described the attack as reprehensible and utterly sacrilegious.
They, however, urged the Embassy of Nigeria in Germany, the German government and appropriate authorities to bring the perpetrators to book.
Ekweremadu was to give a keynote address at the Second Igbo Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndigbo Germany in Nuremberg when a mob, which identified itself as members of IPOB, invaded the venue to attack him.
But the Senate President, in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, described Ekweremadu as an illustrious son of Ndigbo, who in his political career has consistently identified with and defended the cause of his people.
“It is incredibly absurd for anybody to blame the distinguished Senator for the violent criminal activities in his home base, the purported reason cited by the mob for the bewildering attack.
“Senator Ekweremadu, like all his distinguished colleagues in the Ninth Assembly of the Senate, is concerned about the insecurity and other challenges in that area and other parts of Nigeria. Senator Ekweremadu has also been at the forefront of the patriotic efforts to find lasting solutions to the challenges.
“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,” Lawan said.
Also reacting, Omo-Agege said the attack “is not only a dastardly exportation of irrationality but an aggressive international affront against the image of Igbos and Nigeria”.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, the deputy Senate President, expressed shock over the undeserved assault and called
on law enforcement agencies in Germany to investigate and bring to book all those involved in the vicious attack.
“What they did is not only a violent assault against the good image of the Igbo race across the world but an aggressive attack against the traditional norms of a people known to be hardworking and respectful of meaningful contributions by leaders such as Senator Ekweremadu”, Omo-Agege stated.
In his own, Abaribe not only condemned the despicable act, but said it smacks of utter ignorance of the prevailing situation at home with regards to what the leaders are doing in the circumstance.
“It 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”, he said in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja.
The Minority leader said he and the entire minority caucus in the Senate are appalled on the very nauseating attack on the “revered” Ekweremadu for no reason whatsoever, emphasizing “we condemn it”.
Ekweremadu, he said has given his all in standing for the Igbo race, particularly when “we stuck out our neck to arrange and stand for surety for the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“Obviously this is not how to repay a man, an outstanding leader of men, an unpretentious Igbo leader who has given his all even going as far as deploying his means to arrange for the bail of Nnamdi Kanu, not minding the repercussions to his illustrious political career”, Abaribe submitted.
However, he appealed to Ekweremadu not to be discouraged in any way, but rather be stoic and take it in its stride as the price often paid in leadership.
Also, Kalu described the action of the mob as uncivilized, unacceptable and barbaric, urging Ndigbo to respect leaders at all levels.
The former Abia State governor noted that the only way the South East region can be prosperous is by embracing dialogue, peace and unity.
He said: “After watching a viral video of the physical attack on former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweramadu, I was not only disappointed but irritated and disturbed with the action of some members of IPOB.
“The assault on the senator is a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of age, party affiliation and religion”.
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