Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The attack on former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Saturday in Germany by suspected members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) has continued to elicit people’sreaction with the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, describing the assault as reprehensible and sacrilegious.
Abaribe, in a statement on Sunday, 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”.
The Minority Leader said he and the entire minority caucus in the Senate were appalled with the very nauseating attack on the revered ex-Deputy Senate President for no reason whatsoever and therefore condemn it”.
According to him, Ekweremadu 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.
He added that “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.
“It is unfortunate. The perpetrators of the attack should know that as Igbo, we respect elders and reverence our leaders. The unwaranted attack is not the character of the Igbo. This is un-Igbo. It is most worrisome and even inconceivable that the attackers will choose an auspicious occasion where our people are celebrating and showcasing our rich culture to exhibit such unbecoming and condemnable conduct in the name of agitation.
“No, that was not agitation, no right thinking human will identify with such behaviour. Yes, Nigeria is going through a horrendous phase, which is a fault line that her leaders, particularly we the Igbo leaders are engaging others to find a lasting solution to.
“Resorting to mob mentality and venting the spleen on our leaders rather creates a vacuum that will leave our people helpless and confused in the circumstance”, he said.
Abaribe added that there are rules of engagement in the country when things go awry and that is the way we should go at all times, until we reach an acceptable national consensus in which Senator Ekweremadu will always play a major role.
Remember the popular Igbo saying…”Gbuo dike,,Gbuo dike, ngbe ihe ike mere achowa dike” meaning “when the time to find a strong man comes, you may not find the strong man again”.
He, however, 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.