SOWORE, IPOB, AND THE NAKED BEATING OF EKWEREMADU SOWORE, IPOB, AND THE NAKED BEATING OF EKWEREMADU
  By SKC Ogbonnia The naked beating of Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany evokes painful lessons, particularly with Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and,... SOWORE, IPOB, AND THE NAKED BEATING OF EKWEREMADU

 

By SKC Ogbonnia
The naked beating of Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany evokes painful
lessons, particularly with Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and, of
course, the continued detention of the frontline anti-corruption
advocate and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress,
Omoyele Sowore.

First, the sympathy generated from the Ekweremadu beating has to do with
the fact that the specious victim is a prominent member of the Nigerian
political elite. Such type of public flogging is usually reserved for
the ordinary Nigerians, especially if they dare go close to their
leaders. The German incident also marked the first time a major suspect
in looting of Nigerian treasury is manhandled like a petty thief. That
explains why the powerful politicians are mourning while millions of the
masses are celebrating.

Second, the unfortunate incident is a dog whistle that the foreign land
is no longer a safe haven for Nigerian corrupt leaders and their
families. Hopefully, the protest may turn out a blessing in disguise.
Nigeria will be better served the day her political class shows trust in
the country’s social amenities, especially the schools; hospitals; and
tourism, including new yam festival.

Third, and very significant, the nature of the beating on Ekweremadu
shows that the Nigerian masses, particularly the Igbo youths, are
gradually recognizing their true problems and true enemies. In short,
the IPOB might have finally shattered Ekweremadu’s balloon of fake
popularity, sustained by a cocktail of ceaseless montage of paid
propaganda, cascade of mass deceit, and a vicious army of highly
educated and well-paid toadies. The IPOB might as well grasp the reality
that the Biafran problem is Biafran made. The objective fact is that our
people who have held power in Nigeria’s 4th Republic in the Biafran
area—from local government, the states, federal to President Goodluck
Jonathan—were not the Hausa-Fulani. The world is also learning that
Ekweremadu’s Enugu West Senatorial district has been home to the worst
set of road networks in Nigeria throughout his fifth tenure in the
senate. These include the most-deadly trio of Enugu/Onitsha, Enugu/PH,
and Awgu/Oji-River highways, which has only served as money-spinners for
the area politicians through series of funded but abandoned contracts.

Fifth, the angst expressed in Germany by IPOB is nothing but a page from
the anticorruption vision of the revolution that brought President
Muhammadu Buhari to democratic power. Therefore, besides the lack of
development in the East and Ekweremadu’s apparent duplicity in the
proscription of IPOB, it is an open secret that my senator is crudely
corrupt. This is a man who mas a mere charge-n-bail lawyer before
entering politics in 1999 but would shamelessly admit an overnight
ownership of over 31 choice properties around the world without real
job. Yet, since disgraced out of his ambition to remain a lifetime
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has been globetrotting,
celebrating failure with fake yam festivals while millions of fellow
Igbo youths are subjected to abject poverty and despair, home and
abroad. Enough!

As I noted in the piece, “Buhari And Nnamdi Kanu Fighting The Wrong
Enemies”, the whole IPOB saga is misconstrued. What must no longer
escape the minds of patriotic Nigerians is that an original aim of Radio
Biafra, before its vision was sabotaged by Igbo politicians, was to
uproot “all looters, embezzlers, kidnappers, sponsors of terrorism,
child traffickers, corrupt judges, crooked university lecturers,
murderous Nigerian security forces and all thieving individuals
masquerading as public officials who steal public funds thereby
preventing developmental projects from impacting positively on the lives
of the ordinary people.”  That sounded more like Muhammadu Buhari
speaking before he gained power in 2015. Therefore, though physical
assault must be strongly discouraged, the grievances against Ekweremadu
are profoundly justified. You cannot beat a child and expect him not to
cry at the same time. Moreover, my readers will by next week learn hard
facts on how the senator actually owes IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, not the
other way around.

Fourth, and very instructively, the Ekweremadu experience is a wake-up
call that the continued detention of Omoleye Sowore is a time bomb. Of
course, the senator representing me is not the only corrupt politician
flaunting his wealth and influence at the expense of the masses.
Consider, for instance, the latest quagmire where Godswill Akpabio, a
former governor of Akwa Ibom, who is a facing trial for stealing N108
billion from state treasury, is suddenly made the boss of Festus Keyamo,
a celebrated human rights lawyer, who was the prosecutor in the same
case. Combine the irony with the situation where Timipre Sylva, a former
governor of Bayelsa state, who was found guilty under the President
Jonathan for corrupt acquisition of 48 choice properties, now holds sway
at the Ministry of Petroleum, the mainstay of the nation’s life.

This pattern under President Buhari is unimaginable and definitively
unbearable. This is precisely why Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB refers to Nigeria
as a zoo. The daring degree of impunity is why a foremost patriot and
First Lady, Aisha Buhari, once wondered, “where are the men of
Nigeria? Where are the Nigerian men? What are you doing? Instead of them
to come together and fight them, they kept visiting them one after the
other, licking their shoes.”  The growing impunity accounts for why
Nigerian men descended on Ekweremadu, a permanent fixture in the gross
misrule of Nigeria in the 4th Republic. Of course, the jarring injustice
in Nigeria is the sole raison d’être for the peaceful nationwide
protest being led by Sowore, a field marshal in the 2015 revolution that
toppled Jonathan and brought General Buhari to power. That is perfectly
why #RevolutionNow enjoys support from broad sections of Nigeria, home
and abroad.

As patriot and, of course, one of the most rabid supporters of Buhari
from 1984, I truly want him to be the best president. But he must do the
needful. The time has come for dialogue instead of seeing every critic
or protest as coup d’etat. And charity begins at home. The president
might as well embrace the vision of his United Nations address in 2017,
where he preached dialogue over war in the case of North Korea. In
Buhari’s words, “In all these crises, the primary victims are the
people, the most vulnerable being women and children.”  Thusly, his
style of beckoning trouble from all fronts is a recipe for disaster. The
latest attempt to label Nnamdi Kanu and Sowore as coup plotters is not
only a maddening malfeasance, the continued detention of Sowore is
equally a brazen nonfeasance.

President Buhari must rise beyond sheer dogmatism and admit that the
state is truly falling apart. He ought to be able to discern that,
unlike the case of IPOB where the Igbo leaders, including Ekweremadu,
have been dreadfully deceitful; the crème de la crème of the Yoruba
intelligentsia is boldly behind Omoyele Sowore. Only a poon ignores the
potential of the heavily funded but regional IPOB, with a worldwide
membership, fusing with a broad-based national outfit like
#RevolutionNow. It will not be surprising, however, if this appeal is
ignored; after all, “the primary victims are the people, the most
vulnerable being women and children.”

SKC Ogbonnia, a 2019 APC presidential aspirant, is the author of the
Effective Leadership Formula

National Waves

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