The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday said Saturday’s attack on former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany, was to protest his “self-centered politics of survival”.
The proscribed group said while it did not expect the lawmaker to change Nigeria, it expected him to speak out on issues concerning the Igbo.
But, a group, the Divine Mandate International (DMI), faulted IPOB’s threat to attack more Igbo leaders whenever they travel abroad.
It vowed to cooperate with security agencies to ensure that Igbo leaders are safe in the United Kingdom (UK).
Igbo Youth Assembly Worldwide (IYA) said the attack on Ekwerendu was a wake-up call to Igbo leaders of thought to do the right thing.
IPOB’s spokesman Emma Powerful, in a statement, SAID Ekweremadu had not done enough for the Igbo as the longest-serving senator.
“This distinguished Senator is a typical example of the new breed Igbo politician, permanently engaged in the politics of personal survival 40 years after the Biafra genocide.
“Ekweremadu, the distinguished Senator representing Enugu State, is the longest serving Igbo senator.
“He has survived in the murky waters of Nigerian politics by playing to the rules of the politics of survival.
“Enugu, his home state, is besieged on all fronts by Fulani militants. Men, women and children, even priests, are being slaughtered on a daily basis.
“We are yet to hear our distinguished Senator speak with clarity on the matter,” the group said.
According to IPOB, those condemning its members for manhandling Ekweremadu in Germany are poor students of history.
“You do not persuade an angry people with patriotic rhetoric. Leaders who cannot gauge the anger and fury in their land must be truly blind and not qualified to represent them.
“Igbo politicians like Ekweremadu loved Nigeria than the owners of Nigeria, a case of being more Catholic than the Pope.
“They love their prison and zealously promote a system that puts their people down,” the statement added.
DMI, in a letter to Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi by its Chairman Dr Nick Nwokporo, Secretary Dr Francis Kalu and Public Relations Officer Dr Bartholomew Aleke, condemned the attack on Ekweremadu.
The letter reads: “We totally condemn and repudiate in its entirety the shameful attack on Senator Ekweremadu by IPOB group in Germany.
“We also challenge the threat to our Igbo leaders as posted by the group and their sponsors.
“We, therefore, wish to reiterate our unalloyed support and faith in you and other Igbo leaders. The actions of IPOB are barbaric, disgraceful and uninformed.
“We will cooperate with relevant authorities to ensure that the miscreants and their supporters anywhere face the full weight of the law.
“Additionally, we are working with our UK authorities and Ohaneze UK and its affiliate organisations to weed out such actions. The UK can never be Germany.
“Sir, we will not tolerate any intimidation on you or any other Igbo leaders when visiting the UK or wherever, neither will we ignore any threats to your safety when visiting the UK.
“Please, continue your good works and be rest assured of our continued support. May your good heart not be poisoned by threats from people of no standing.”
IYA in a statement by its President-General, Ifeanyi Nwaudunna and Secretary-General Casmir Irekamba, said it had opposed IPOB’s “sit-at-home” orders, its calls for secession and alleged hate speech by its leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“We condemn all these illegal activities of IPOB as misguided and a play by enemies of Ndi Igbo to ground economic activities.
“We also express deep concerns over numerous cheap blackmail and name calling against certain individuals, ethnic groups and the President,” it added.
IYA alleged that enemies of the Igbo connived with disgruntled politicians to embolden IPOB in the guise of marginalisation.
“This propaganda of Igbo marginalisation is a total deceptive and cheap blackmail against the present government by failed Igbo politicians to stir dangerous resentment to sustain their selfish political machinery.
“These failed Igbo politicians are the ones causing disconnection of Ndi Igbo from national level,” it added.
IYA, however, urged Igbo leaders to ensure that the Southeast is not marginalised.
“Therefore, IYA stands with Senator Orji Uzor Kalu when he recently stated that zoning of political office cannot be jettisoned or abolished until the Northeast and Southeast geo-political zones produced the President.
“IYA calls on Igbo leaders of thought to speak up against using Igbo land as a launching pad by disgruntled elements and secessionists within and outside against the constitutional authority of Nigeria,” it said.
Earlier, Ekweremadu’s kinsmen, under the aegis of the Enugu West Peoples Parliament, disagreed with IPOB, saying the former Deputy Senate President has done a lot for his people and the Igbo.
“Let us place on record that Senator Ekweremadu has done so much for his constituents, the Igbo nation, Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
“He has demonstrated quality representation by attracting numerous infrastructure, including roads and bridges, water projects, dams, electricity projects, just to mention a few.
“His non-governmental organisation, the Ikeoha Foundation, has provided jobs and bursary awards to over 6000 indigent students, assisted adult learners on how to read and write.
“Senator Ekweremadu, alongside other Igbo senators, was instrumental in ensuring the bail of IPOP leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“He wrote President Buhari to condemn Operation Python Dance, drew the President’s attention to possibilities of the Python Dance escalating to another civil war, and urged the President to address the obvious marginalisation of the Igbo, etc,” the kinsmen said.