As widespread outrage trails the harassment and humiliation of immediate past deputy senate president, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, Federal Government has called on German authorities to ensure that the mastermind face consequences of their actions.
This is even as Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, South East governors, former Leader of Senate, Ali Ndume and Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Minority Leader of House of Representatives, have condemned the attack carried out by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Delta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa also condemned the attack.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said the attack could not be justified under any guise, while Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, that the incident was pathetic, shameful and an embarrassment to Nigeria.
In separate interventions, they called on Nigerian Embassy in Germany to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The incident took place on Saturday at the second annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany.
In a viral video, IPOB members were seen pelting Ekweremadu with objects from the hall down to the car that drove him away despite efforts by his aides to restrain them.
Mr Uche Anichukwu, his media aide, in a statement, confirmed that Ekweremadu was physically assaulted by some members of the separatist group.
In a statement, yesterday, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), flayed the attack as an embarrassment to the country.
“It is also shamefully pathetic that an event, which was nobly put together by Ndi-Igbo community whose members make up the majority of Nigerians living in Germany, ended up in such a disgraceful manner,” she said.
Also, Senate President, Mr Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Ola Awoniyi, described the attack as ‘shameful and incredibly absurd.’
“The barbaric attack on Ekweremadu at a forum to which he was invited to contribute to charting a course for the progress and happiness of Ndigbo debase our values as civilised people. It is most reprehensible and should be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians,” Lawan was quoted as saying.
South-East Governors Forum also decried the attack on the former senate deputy president
Chairman of the forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, in a statement issued by Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, his Chief Press Secretary, said the issue of insecurity in the region, cited by IPOB as its reason, was not peculiar to the zone.
He said insecurity was a national issue, which rested squarely on Federal Government’s control.
Deputy Senate president, Mr Ovie Omo-Agege, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yomi Odunuga, yesterday, equally expressed shock over the assault and called on law enforcement agencies in Germany to investigate and bring to book all those involved in the vicious attack.
On his part, Ndume said IPOB attacked one of the greatest Nigerian heroes.
“If they take recourse to immediate past, Ekweremadu is not the person they ought to attack, and indeed they have to stop such attack on anybody for that matter.”
For Senate Minority Leader, Mr Enyinnaya Abaribe, the attack is a brazen show of ingratitude to a man who has been at the fore front in the struggle for all that is good for the Igbo race. We condemn it.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives has promised to probe the attack when it resumes from its recess in September.
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Buba Yakub, said the House would also be seeking for protection for political exposed persons in foreign trip, henceforth.
Also reacting, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said it was saddening that some groups have turned the non-violence struggle for the actualisation of Biafra state, into an abusive and systematic Gestapo against citizens of Biafra.
MASSOB warned that it would not tolerate the grooming of authoritarian and imperial rulership in Igboland, under any guise because the republican nature of the Igbo did not support that.
National Director of Information, Mr Edeson Samuel, in a statement, noted that Igbo culture abhors disrespect of elders and persons in positions of authority.
Similarly, PDP in Southeast zone, Ohanaeze Ndigbo United Kingdom and Spain and the Igbo Community in Canada, yesterday, in separate statements, condemned the disgraceful act and called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
National Vice, Mr Austin Umahi, urged Ekweremadu not to be discouraged by the attack, but see it as one of the many sacrifices he has to pay in pursuit of justice and better treatment for Ndigbo both within and outside the country.
He advised any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate, to do so, through Southeast Governors Forum (SEGF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation rather than resorting to self-help.
In its reaction, Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK president, Mr Nnanna Igwe, said the attack on Ekweremadu, disruption of the cultural fiesta, altercation and associated pandemonium were taboo to Ndigbo, which represented them in bad light and damaging blow to Igbo image across the world.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Madrid, Spain, in a statement, by Mr Ezejiofor Akpusi, described the act as an assault on the entire Igbo nation, and faulted claim by the attackers that Ekweremadu and other leaders had been silent over the killings and raping of women in Igbo land by herdsmen as false, saying the inhuman habit of IPOB members against the Senator is a misplacement of aggression.
The board, executive and members of Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) in a statement issued in Toronto, Canada by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahaoma Kanu, said it was grossly despicable, utterly shameful and a concentrated act of cowardice and show of weakness on members of IPOB and their handlers.