In a quote attributed to Awolowo which is currently making the rounds online, the wise man forewarned that the children of the poor that his generation failed to educate will eventually rise against their children who had the benefit of education. That prophecy is currently coming-to-pass in today’s Nigeria. Ekweremmadu, for instance, described the persons that attacked him at Nuremberg Germany as misguided persons who were on drugs. Miscreants are more likely to have been the products of no or deficient levels of education. The same can also, to some extent apply in the cases of persons on drugs. However, the IPOB group that masterminded the attack on him alongside several other pro-IPOB groups have in various media corrected Ekweremmadu’s apparent misreading and his wrong description of his attackers. The reality is that those who have suffered and are suffering the seemingly endless socio-economic frustrations orchestrated by the political class are only beginning to respond outside of the inefficient and kangaroo justice system of Nigeria. While Awolowo was prophetically right, he also failed to see that even the children of the educated will equally rise to fight for their freedom. The ekweremmadunization approach which is a physical hostility response meted out to perceived poor performing or corrupt political leaders appears to be the most recent in the series of possible actions to reclaiming Nigeria’s prosperity. This approach can occur either within the Nigerian soil albeit rarely or in foreign lands. It is usually one of the early-stage tactics adopted in self-determination. At more advanced stages political targets are no longer merely beaten or molested but could be assassinated.
Ekweremmadu’s case may look like an isolated case but can best be a strong signal of the bitterness of Nigerians both at home and abroad over our political class. It equally shows how keenly Nigerians monitor and track the performance of their leaders even when there seems to be very little that they can do to alter the status quo. The litany of reasons for this bitterness is endless and range from unemployment to their daily impoverishment; inclement business environment and their inability to prosper in a land that holds a lot of prospects for its citizens. It is the many reprehensible activities of this political class that has caused many of the Nigerians in the diaspora to emigrate from Nigeria in the first place. The corrupt and rapacious activities of these politicians and so-called leaders over the years made it difficult for them to find their footing within the country economically. And even in diaspora, many are forced to work in more than three places to have enough to support themselves overseas as well as help those seemingly trapped at home that is directly bearing the brunt of the misrule of our leaders. Today, Nigeria fetes over the fiscal improvements that have been made possible by the millions of dollar inflows from many of its citizens in foreign lands. These were mostly persons who have been driven away through the destruction of the economy of Nigeria by these herd of selfish and corrupt politicians. But it appears as if the patience of Nigerians to follow the resolution of these difficulties through an otiose and toothless-bulldog justice system that serves the interest of the political class is snapping. Both those inside the country, as well as Nigerians in foreign countries, are all affected by these insensitivities. Many of our professionals overseas will love to be in Nigeria if we manage our country appropriately. The trillions of dollars spent in the education of our children as well as in seeking medical help in foreign countries would have been conserved to strengthen our economy further. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the exodus to foreign countries continues unabated. At home, we cry of scarcity of doctors and nurses, yet we have thousands of our locally trained health professionals serving meritoriously in foreign countries who are no longer interested in returning to the country.
Again, it is very wrong to perceive what happened to Ekweremmadu as peculiar to the Ibo (or IPOB) self-determination. Virtually all Nigerians – outside of the political class – appear to be united in the decision to free themselves from oppression. Therefore, it is not likely to be out of place when we begin to see political leaders from either the Northern or the Southern parts of the country receiving ekweremmadunization therapy in foreign lands. And the justification for this approach to recovering the lost prosperity of Nigeria is seemingly commendable. How can one explain the over four decades of rising illiteracy levels and poverty in Northern Nigeria while the country was continuously ruled through absolute military discretion by persons from those parts of the country? And even when the country returned to democracy, the politically elected leaders have done very little to alter that status quo. The same kind of question will also be asked somebody like Ekweremmadu and his cohorts. For instance, the media is awash with stories of probable corrupt aggrandisement and primordial acquisition of property by Ekweremmadu over his 20 years stay as the Senator representing the Enugu-west Senatorial zone. In contrast, the same media has not much to show of his contributions to improving the socio-economic lives of that zone over this period. The children born the year he was first elected as a senator would have become University graduates, and the only person that they would recognise as a Senator representing them would have been Ekweremmadu. The same applies to very many others at various levels and areas in the political leadership of the country. The complaints from many Nigerians paint a dangerous picture of a people vengefully boiling in their hearts and souls and patiently waiting for any opportunity to strike. That day is today with all manner of menace confronting the country. The story is the same in the North as it is in the South as well as the West. The culprits are the same. They are our political leaders. Most of them are heartless, ruthless and incredibly selfish. They do not care about the destiny of the millions of people who stood under the sun and rain to vote for them.
Ekweremmadunization has also become a seemingly appropriate response for Nigerians who are bitter because our ineffective justice system does not afford them the well-deserved platform to respond. Over the years, corrupt politicians who have kept Nigeria in its current state are known to have walked away unscathed in the face of the law. They exercise the powers that are comparable only to rulers in medieval times. With the large cache of money stolen from the common treasury they can puppeteer and an array of minions who do their bidding. That also substantially empowers them to manipulate the justice system. They can buy off the police, as well as the judiciary and manage them to do their bidding. Therefore, those who are justifiably bitter with them find it difficult to obtain justice against them. Secondly, they are well defended and guarded by the police. Poignantly, many of the members of the police who should be protecting the citizens are attached to these categories of people. The latter, – in addition to hundreds and even thousands of minions they have recruited – is therefore above the law. Consequently, it is difficult to physically respond to the atrocities that they perpetrate within the Nigerian soil. And because people can hardly question these excesses, and the law itself is too weak to bring them to book, the only place that a meaningful response may be able to hold water is outside of the shores of the country.
The ekweremmadunization response is no doubt the new face of bringing the country’s corrupt and weak performing political leaders to book as well as compelling them to do what is right and appropriate for the people who voted them to power. Describing those who have initiated this process as miscreants are misguided. The Nigerian political class needs to realise that many Nigerian are very unhappy with them and that the latter might have just woken up to the reality of how to respond in a way that will compel the former to discharge the duties that they have been voted to power to perform. More of such ekweremmadunization treatments are very likely to continue to happen in the future. That is one sure way of getting the Nigerian breed of politicians to remember that they must represent the interests of most of the citizens of Nigeria. Going by the recent ekweremmadunization treatment, it follows therefore that if a legislator keeps quiet in the face of an issue demanding urgent attention that he is a likely candidate for such kind of molestation in a foreign land. The same can be said to apply to members of the executive who fail to utilise the resources that are commonly owned by Nigerians in line with the expectations of the people. In all of this, a new light of hope appears to have emerged, let us wait and see how it changes the way our leaders carry out their activities.