Ike Ekweremadu? It ought not to be you!


The Nigerian constitution, no doubt, guarantees generous fundamental human rights. These range from freedom of speech or expression, freedom of association, freedom from persecution and others.
However, much as the freedom to all these is enshrined in the constitution, it is qualified, thus ensuring the sacredness of the document and sanity of the society. Any society that overstretches freedom without limit is akin to a jungle society.
Recently, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, wrote letters to various international organisations and countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, indicting the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for marginalisation of South east and South south, dictatorship and persecution.
Nothing is wrong in Senator Ekweremadu expressing his view in line with the Nigerian constitution. From this perspective, it is excusable or more honourable to ignore such diatribes.
However, coming from a personality like Ekweremadu, the longest serving Deputy Senate President in the country, a one-time speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, a lawyer and an Igbo leader, such serious and weighty allegations should not be waved off. If left unattended, it could assume a life of its own. This is even more so, because Ekweremadu appears, a PDP senator, appears to be the greatest beneficiary from the opposition in the 8th senate.
There have been reactions since the deposition of Ekweremadu with regards to his letters to the international organisations and countries. Some commentators agreed that he is exercising his freedom of expression and that the Igbos were being marginalized, while others disagreed, pointing out that he went too far and was unfair to Buhari’s administration. Another group holds the view that Ekweremadu should not drag the Igbo race and the Senate into his personal issue with regards to his trial on the forgery charges pending in the court.
In its reaction, the Buhari South east Youth movement, accused the Deputy Senate President of “vaulting ambition.” In a statement by its Director General, Nwabueze Onwuneme and National Publicity Secretary, Igwe Samuel Obinna, the movement advised Ekweremadu to go and defend the allegation against him in the court and leave Ndigbo and President Buhari out of it.
According to the statement, “Ekweremadu should not say he is being persecuted because of his ethnicity. He must accept his fate because it is the ‘leadership of the Senate that is on trial for forgery and not the senate nor Igbo ethnic nationality.”
Similarly, the trio of the Head of the Federal Civil Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Stephen Oru and the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, defended the President Buhari at a reception organised for them by the Akwa- Ibom Association in the Public Service, led by the group’s chairman, Eden Bassey. The event was to appreciate the President for “his kind gesture towards the people of the two states.”
Also, speaking at the reception, Enang said the federal government deserved the support of the people of Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and the region because it had been very kind to them and generous in terms of appointments.
He said, “Buhari has given us the Chief of Naval Staff, a very high-ranking officer in the federal security council. He has also given us the Minister of Budget and my humble self, as the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Legislative matters, as well the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“In the entire South-South, he gave us the Minister of Transportation, in charge of three merged ministries. He also gave us the Minister of Petroleum,” Enang added.
It is simple; Senator Ekweremadu behaves like a typical Nigerian politician and, indeed, the elite who skillfully whip up primordial sentiments to attain their self-centered, obsessive and insatiable ambition, especially when they discover they are running against the tide.
To this group of politicians, anything, even Machiavellian goes, provided the end justifies the means. By the way, it is pertinent at this point to ask some questions.
At what point did Ekweremadu suddenly discover that President Buhari is a dictator? Why did he have to wait till now before speaking up? At what point did he discover that this administration is marginalising the south-east and south-south? Were most of the appointees, including that of Ministers, not sent to the Senate for scrutiny and approval? Where was he during the senate approval?
Has there been any complaint on the floor of the Senate or motion in the upper chamber to the effect that Buhari’s administration was marginalising some sections of the country? Have all the federal appointments in various sectors been made to have warranted his conclusion that south-east and south-south have been marginalised? Perhaps, Senator Ekweremadu would have been taken seriously if he had mentioned some instances where President Buhari assumed the toga of a dictator.