Below is a Press Statement released by Ndi Igbo Germany e.V. on the assault on the person of Senator Ike Ekweremadu at the Second Annual Igbo Cultural Day on Saturday, 17 August in the German city of Nuremberg. The event was organised by Ndi Igbo Germany.
NDI IGBO GERMANY APOLOGISES TO SENATOR IKE EKWEREMADU AND CALLS FOR WORLD WIDE IGBO UNITY
We, Ndi-Igbo Germany (N.I.G), the umbrella/apex union of all Igbo unions operating in the Federal Republic of Germany are shocked and dismayed by the unprovoked, unwarranted and senseless attack unleashed on Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu on 17 Aug 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany.
In our efforts to encourage foreign investment and industrialization of Igboland, Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu was invited to attend our 2nd annual Igbo Cultural Festival and Convention, aimed at providing a forum for Ndi Igbo in Diaspora to network and to engage German business community with interest in investments and development in Igboland in particular and Nigeria in general.
Other invited illustrious sons and daughter of Ala-Igbo include Chief Nnia Nwodo, Chief (Dr). Innocent Chukwuma (CEO of Innoson Group of Companies), His Majesty Eze Chukwuemeka Eri, Eze Akajiofo Igbo; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra State, Prof. Mazi Ojiaku, Mike Okiro, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu and all the five South-Eastern Governors. The Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Yusuf Maitama Tuggar and the representative from the office of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission from Abuja were also in attendance.
We, Ndi-Igbo Germany, wish to offer our unequivocal apology to our special guest of honour, Senator Ike Ekweremadu – former deputy senate president – for the unfortunate treatment misdirected at him by members of Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany during the occasion of our Iri Ji – the Igbo New Yam Festival – celebrated once a year by all Igbos all over the world – which Ndi Igbo in Germany celebrated this year in Nuremberg during the occasion of our 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival and Convention 2019.
It must be emphasised that Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu had nothing personal to gain in attending our cultural day, rather the Igbo residents here in Germany lost an opportunity to tap into his reservoir of knowledge.
No words can describe our shock, our consternation, and our sadness at this inexcusable, shameful and senseless attack. We apologise from the depths of our hearts that you had to experience such a horrible thing here in our midst. This is not how we are here. Please do not hold this incident against the 99% law-abiding UmuIgbo in Germany. Our apologies go to Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and to all well-meaning Igbo-Diasporan groups and associations both at home and abroad for this disgrace.
We sincerely apologize to the National Assembly and indeed to our entire country for such an unwarranted assault on Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu by the IPOB members in Germany.
Let this event be a rallying call to all Umu Igbo at home and worldwide to always seek unity rather than primitively turning against ourselves in senseless violence which will make neutral and friendly global nations turn away from us.
Ndi-Igbo Germany (N.I.G) condemns in strongest terms this action by the members of IPOB in Germany against Senator Dr. Ike Ikweremadu. Ndi-Igbo Germany distances herself from any group that encourages violence, directly or indirectly.
It is not acceptable that an Igboman or woman would come to the occasion of an ANCIENT IGBO TRADITIONAL Event – Iri Ji – and not only cause commotion but also physically attack an invited guest, a fellow Igbo brother from home and a senior Igbo elder statesman in the person of Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu. This is an abomination in Ala Igbo. And in a foreign land! Is this what we have come to in our united struggle, Ndi Igbo? A house divided against itself cannot stand.
This single action will cost IPOB in Germany more than 70% of her hitherto sympathizers. What IPOB Germany thought in their inept, diminutive and megalomaniac mindset as a humiliation of Senator Ekweremadu is in reality a humiliation of the Igbo race in a foreign land.
Finally, and on a serious note: Ndi-Igbo Germany abhors all kinds of violence. We are committed to working and co-operating with our host country Germany and with her constituted authorities.
We, Ndi-Igbo Germany want to send out an unequivocal warning that NEVER AGAIN shall we in our friendship to all our brothers, permit and tolerate such attack upon our activities or our guests. Brotherhood is not vulnerability! Ndi–Igbo Germany will let the full weight of the law take its course. As we all work together towards the redemption of Ala Igbo, let no one think that he or she has more claim to Igbo nation than the other.
We ALL have the same stake in the salvation of Ala Igbo.
In conclusion, the Igbo spirit is indestructible and can never die. The Igbo story is a beautiful narrative in courage and the resilience of the human spirit. Despite the shameful display by members of IPOB Germany, Ndi-Igbo Germany recovered quickly from the shock and the event went on smoothly and finished as planned.
Ndi-Igbo Germany wants to express our warm gratitude to Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, other special Guest of Honours, ladies and gentlemen for making out time for our 2nd annual Igbo Cultural Festival and Convention.
Thank you all
Engr. Oge Ozofor
Coordinator Ndi-Igbo Germany (N.I.G)