PRESS RELEASE ON FORMER DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT, SEN. IKE EKWEREMADU’S MOB ACTION IN NUREMBERG, GERMANY.
The incident as reported on social, prints and electronic medias give varying accounts on what happened to the distinguished senator, during an Iri ji Ndigbo festival in Nuremberg, Germany.
1. Voters Club of Nigeria VCN condemns any act of violence against law abiding citizens anywhere and any place in the world. We affirm freedom of movement and association of citizens. We affirm that you are a citizen wherever you are therefore has right of expression.
2. Voters Club of Nigeria VCN acknowledges the right of citizens to protest against injustices, oppressions and repressions by their governments, leaders and representatives anywhere they can, whenever they can as long as they are acting within the limits of law.
3. Voters Club noted with dismay the regrettable utterances of many leaders of thoughts and government representatives in Nigeria. Such utterances tagging the Nuremberg protesters as terrorists are to the extreme and unbecoming of a government elected to serve the needs of the people.
5. Voters Club of Nigeria VCN listened to the interview of Sen. Ike Ekweremadu upon arrival in Nigeria as aired in Channels Television. In his answer to questions, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu alleged that the protesters were youths “possibly under drugs or under influence of some substances”. In other words he attributed the cause of the incident to drugs and substance abuse by irresponsible youths. That was how Sen. Ike Ekweremadu saw the incident.
6. Voters Club of Nigeria VCN also listened to the police report from Nuremberg, Germany authority. The police absolved the protesters from breaking any laws. The police confirmed the right of Nigerian citizens to protest against their corrupt leaders.
The contrast here is interesting. In the eyes of the civilized world, the Nuremberg protesters acted within their rights and in accordance to the laws of the country. In the eyes of Nigeria government officials and Southeast political leaders, the Nigerian citizens in Nurmberg, Germany, were just IPOB members, Igbos who are drug addicts, rascals and terrorists. This is a sad thing to note especially when considered in the latest developments in Nigeria.
7. We take cognisance of the arrest of Sowore an activist for planning a nationwide protest. The sealing off the premises in Lagos State where human rights coalition were to hold a talk in which Wole Shoyinka was slated to give a speech. It is obvious that by these examples, compared to the reactions of government officials to Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s incidents are anti democracy, anti people and anti freedom of speech.
8. It is important to remind the general public that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s Nuremberg experience was not perculiar or exceptional in history. Here are some similar incidences in the world.
In 2000, raw eggs were thrown at Bill Clinton’s face, then president of the United States of America.
In Dec. 2008, an aggrieved Iraqi journalist Muntachar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at George W Bush in Iraqi during a press conference.
Former polish president was hit with raw eggs.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott thrown shell and yolks with few punches in 2001. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was hit with toy statue in Milan, 2009.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was hit in the head with a mango with a message written on it.
9. In Nigeria, 1979, at Aba, Chief Abafomi Awolowo was stoned by irrate mob. In 2015, then president Good Luck Jonathan was stoned in Bauchi. In 2019 the current president of Nigeria was stoned in Oyo state. In all these no one was called terrorist, tagged drug abuser.
10. Voters Club of Nigeria VCN, sadly wants to note that it is the southeast leaders, political elected representatives that have been quick to tag their youths as terrorists. No other region in Nigeria has done this. It is therefore on record that under the current political dispensation, by their own confession southeast youths are regarded as terrorists no thanks to leaders from that geopolitical zone.
11. Voters Club of Nigeria warns Nigerians to be cautious on the use of the term “terrorism” to describe the actions of the youths of this country. It is irresponsible, rascal, unacceptable, uncivilized to call protesters terrorists in their own countries, and worst by their own elected representatives.
12. Voters Club of Nigeria sees the Nuremberg Germany example as a consequence of the inability of Nigerians to freely protest in their country, the frustrations they bottle up due to inability to access their representatives. We also agree that the Nurmberg Germany example could be done in Nigeria if the government officials didn’t surround themselves with both military and police. Therefore these representatives become targets in countries where they do not have access to heavy security.
13. To avoid the now Ekweremadu threatment Voters Club of Nigeria VCN advises our elected representatives to be more transparent, accessible to the people and show compassion with the people they rule.
V C N: WE THE PEOPLE
V C N: WE THE PEOPLE
V C N: WE OWN THE POWER.
LONG LIVE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
Dr. Dominic Danjibo
National Publicity Secretary.