Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The youth arm of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday vowed to defend the Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu, “with the last drop of our blood,” in his recent exchange of words with the military authorities.
The organisation warned that any attempt to intimidate the lawmaker over his recent comments on ‘military take over of government’ would be resisted by the Igbo youths.
The OYC President General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, in a statement made available to journalists in Enough said Ekweremadu’s comments were based on recent developments in the country.
OYC recalled that Ekweremadu had at Senate plenary cautioned that Nigerians should be careful not to undermine democratic principles as it was still possible for the military to capitalise on that.
The youths insisted that they would defend Ekweremadu with the last drop of their blood.
“We have followed with keen interest the controversies that have so far trailed a very honest statement made by Ekweremadu on the floor of the Senate.
“Without mincing words, all honest men and women in the country cannot feign ignorance over various abuses of the country’s laws by governments at various levels.
“Suffice it to say, therefore, that Ekweremadu merely stated the obvious by cautioning Nigerians not to take our much cherished democracy for granted.
“However, it is quite shocking that some enemies of democracy, the same kind of people Ekweremadu talked about have so misinterpreted his comments to mean that he is calling for a coup. What could be farther from the truth. Some mischief makers have even gone to the extent of falling for his arrest.
“We therefore, warn sternly that Igbo youths will not sit and watch some idle minds disparage Ekweremadu for no just cause.
“For those calling for his arrest, they should be prepared to arrest him alongside millions of Igbo youths who are ready to defend him.
“Any attempt to harass, prosecute, Ekweremadu will lead to a civil disturbance that will have no control.
“Ekweremadu is a law abiding senator, who chooses his words very carefully; those calling his arrest should channel such energy towards resolving the crisis in Benue and other parts of the middle belt.
“From this hour onwards, the Ohanaeze Youths in their millions will be guarding Ekweremadu; so, before they will touch him, they should first of all be prepared to take along millions of Igbo youths.” the statement noted.
They further urged the senator to be calm, stressing “we are solidly behind him; he should remember that millions of Ohanaeze youths behind him are more than those against him.”