The recent incident in Germany of an attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu by angry Igbo citizens, who are said to be members of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has been condemned by Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) as very unfortunate.
In a statement signed by the ADF President Prof Uzodimma Nwala and received by Sundiata Post, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) disapproves the incident, and bemoan the grave historical circumstances that have given rise such incident.
The statement read:
“We have had occasion in the recent past to advice that we, Ndigbo, must balance passion for our freedom with political realism based on strategic planning in the current struggle for survival.
In the light of the current life-and-death struggle of our people, extreme state of humiliation and provocation – yes, in the light of the brutal occupation and seizure of our ancestral land, destruction of our farm lands and the imminent starvation that stare us in the face, only a man who has no conscience, only heartless men who live for their property, can look the other way while the people are faced with starvation and death.
The recent incident in Germany may be seen as a case of a people overwhelmed by their feelings of what their people are going through in Nigeria and what they consider the failure of those who claim to be their political leaders.
But in doing so, they lost rational control of their emotion, they felt that they were living in a democratic environment as against the fascist regime in their land. In their assumption of the free society in which they live and act, they failed to realize that the same society, is under international law and protocol which determine how they judge incidents affecting those with diplomatic status.
And here we are. The German state is in a quandary – between acting in accordance with the dictates of democracy justifies popular descent and the niceties of diplomatic protocol. Their reaction is bound to go either way.
The enemies of our people are going to call for their heads, screaming “Depot them and hand them over to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Fulani butchers”.
But is that the way to go. I ask Umunna. The answer is definitely no.
Those who understand the extreme situation that have driven them to the frenzy of being dominated by their passion would wish they are not so treated.
Therefore, we call on our brothers and sisters involved in the German show to acknowledge that they allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by emotion. That is what the lawyers call justified anger, and this may be one such case.
Hence, it is our duty not to call for their heads, but ask that justice be tempered with mercy, and first ask our brother, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, to forgive the embarrassment. As a politician, he should know that throwing of eggs and raw tomatoes are part of the common experience of those who go into partisan politics. He should also consider that we non-Parliamentarians are used to watching similar scenes in the Parliament where his colleagues fight, tear each other’s shirts, break mace, etc. The next session they are back cracking jokes with their assailants.
As for IPOB we must continue to caution that passion must be married to strategic reason and experience. They must learn how to express justified anger. They must learn to work with their patriotic elders.
IPOB and other pro-Biafra and Pan-Igbo organizations are important actors in our struggle, and we must ensure they continue to play positive role in our struggle. At least, they are not like the Myetti Allah who defend the murderous Fulani Herdsmen and make no pretenses about their desire to take over our ancestral lands.
This incident raises one nagging limitation in the political life of Ndigbo today. There is a yarning gap between those in political authority and the people; we mean the people in their various organized groups. This is bad for a people under siege as we are at this critical moment in our history..
Politicians reach out to the people only during the election period, to offer them peanuts in order to get their votes, After that they run away to Abuja and only come back home again to humour them during certain social events. Like the proverbial ostrich, the politicians pretend that the people are just simpletons. But it they who are simpletons, who do not appreciate how much the people know, their patience and their power.
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) plans to inaugurate A Quarterly Peoples Parliament to enable the electorate confront those who represent them at various tiers of governance. “We hope this will help to close the gap between the people and their leaders,” read the statement.
ADF hopes the organizations close to the people at the grass-root level – the Town Unions (ASETU), the Churches, th World Igbo Congress (WIC) the liberations organizations, Students and the women shall collaborate with them in this venture.
“By the way, August 22nd remains our day at Owerri Imo State, while August 31st remains another day when we the people shall get together in a SUMMIT, to reflect on the security challenges we face, And pass on the message to our various governments. Our brothers in Europe are calling for a European wing of the SUMMIT.