Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy President of the Senate, has called on Igbo people living in the diaspora to speak out against violent agitations. His message also called on them to use their positions of power to aid in the search for security and stability in Igbo land.
This comes nearly two months after the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was apprehended in Kenya and brought into Nigeria in a shady manner by Nigerian authorities.
In a statement signed by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu assured Nigerians that the South-East Caucus of the National Assembly, of which he is the leader, was also working to defuse tensions in the region and find a political solution that would result in Nnamdi Kanu’s release from prison.
A flawed federal system, injustice, poor management of the nation’s diversity, failure of the federal government to secure lives and property and the needless clampdown on self-determination agitators were among the reasons cited by Ekweremadu for the agitations by various parts of the country. Dialogue and giving every part of the country a sense of belonging, he argued, would have sufficed.
He, on the other hand, was adamant that violent agitation was not the solution.
The lawmaker opened up in a virtual lecture titled “The Igbo in Diaspora: A Perspective,” which he delivered at the Igbo Heritage Lectures and Ugwumba Excellence Award event, which took place in Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday evening. The lecture was broadcast live on the internet.
He observed that one of the worst things that could happen to Ndigbo at this time would be for their homeland to be turned into a battleground for the first time in history.
It is imperative that the injustices and marginalizations that exist be addressed.” In any case, we must ensure the stability of Igbo land because only in this way will Alaigbo (Igbo land) be able to prosper economically while also eliciting local and international sympathy and support for their predicament.
In the last few months, something strange, ‘un-Igbo,’ and sacrilegious has occurred in Alaigbo. In our region, the devastation has resulted in the loss of human lives as well as significant economic losses. Igbo lives and economies have been particularly hard hit by the sit-at-home movement, which is why it is encouraging that the IPOB has stated that they are no longer interested in the sit-at-home. A wise man does not invite war into his home. Our people prosper in the fields of industry, commerce, and the unorganised sector of the economy. The majority of them rely on their daily wages to survive.
Consequently, while we are free to use any legitimate and democratic means available to us in our pursuit of justice and equity, we must all work together to condemn and put an end to violence, regardless of where it originates.”
It is an appeal to Ndigbo in particular in South Africa to get involved in the orgy of violence in Igboland and assist in the restoration of normalcy. It is expected that Igbo in the diaspora will lead the campaign against violent agitations and insecurity in our region. “Threats to Igbo businesses, the peace, security and stability of the South-East, and our very existence as Ndigbo are threats to our very existence as Ndigbo,” he stated.
“As the intellectual bank of Ndigbo, with extensive exposure to liberal and progressive democratic ideals, as well as access to international resources, the Igbo in the diaspora are well-positioned to elevate the intellectual content of the Igbo struggle for justice and equity,” he explained. ”
In the absence of violent agitation, how can we address the issues of exclusion, imbalances, the detention of many Igbo sons and daughters in various correctional facilities across the country, the issues of the clampdown on unarmed protesters, and the challenge of extrajudicial killings in Igbo land in the most effective manner?”
“Let me also assure you that the South-East Caucus of the National Assembly is not resting on its laurels,” Ekweremadu said of Kanu. We are working quietly and steadily to address these issues, which includes finding a political solution to the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu situation. We appreciate your understanding.
Previously, in the case of Chief Raph Uwazuruike in 2007, we had done something similar. In the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we did the same thing last year. And, God willing, and with your help and prayers, we will be successful in our efforts to bring Nnamdi Kanu to justice once more to promote peace and stability in our region.”
Ekweremadu, on the other hand, urged Igbos living in the diaspora to express an interest in leadership positions in Igbo territory.
In Alaigbo, the Igbo diaspora must demonstrate more than a passing interest in the recruitment of leaders at all levels of the organisation. Please, if at all possible, return to your hometown and run for public office. Those who are unable to return home should encourage and support alternative candidates of their choosing. It is critical to ensure that our elected officials at all levels of government, including local, state, and federal, are our best and those who have our best interests at heart. That, in my opinion, marks the beginning of the real emancipation struggle for Ndigbo, because charity begins at home,” he said in conclusion.
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