A thorough analysis of what transpired in Nuremberg during the visit of the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu indicates that the attack was not really directed at Ekweremadu as a person. It is the result of long-suffering and oppression in the Nigerian polity. He who makes changes impossible makes revolts and mob actions inevitable and Ochlocracy is the result. Ochlocracy or mob rule is the rule of government by a mob or a mass of angry people.
The unfortunate sad incident in Germany is a lesson and the result of an accumulated frustration of a people pushed to the wall. Demonstrations can always take different forms depending on the prevailing circumstances. One can argue on its methodology; whether you call it a “flash disobedience or flash mob”. It is “civil”, it is “disobedient”. It is normal and legal in a modern civil, democratic society. Conversely, it can easily turn violent because the effects of bottled and suppressed anger of the people are uncontrollable once it bursts. It is a warning to ALL office holders in Nigeria irrespective of tribe, that people´s patience has a limit. The endless suffering, anger, hopelessness and the helplessness status of the nation have consequently created a “molten frustration-magma” which is now erupting as a social vulcano.
One commentator put it all together: “Nigerian politicians and leaders have gotten so comfortable and numbed from the pain and suffering of the masses that any criticism from them is considered an “attack” akin to terrorism, especially if it comes from certain quarters. Nonviolent civil disobedience can take various legal forms against official injustice and oppression. The fact that unfortunately Nigerians are virtually banned to exercise this right under the present dictatorship cannot change that. That’s what Martin Luther King did all of his life. That’s what the IPOB members did in Nuremberg. We should all be proud of them for standing up for the rest of us. If you push people to the wall they will react”.
Another observer comments: “If we paid attention to what they were saying, their protest was not just against Ekweremadu but also against the organizers of the event. Why is the outrage only about Ekweremadu? We need a reflection over the words used repeatedly in the video: “they are killing our people and raping our women, and you are here celebrating yam”. This is a chilling and emotionally-moving statement. Those words indict all of us. It should make us reflect on the purpose of all Nigerian cultural organizations we have all over the Diaspora. Are they chasing rats as their house burns! Is Nero fiddling while Rome burns? What are they doing about the assault on our land and people by the Nigerian State? Those are the questions our “Heroes of Nuremberg” were asking yesterday”.
Angry mob actions are nothing new – some recent examples include:
14.12.2008 – President Bush, on his fourth and final trip to Iraq an Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes at Bush and Denounces Him on TV
08.04.1991 – Angry protesters booed and threw eggs at Chancellor Helmut Kohl as he made his first visit to the East German region.
2017 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel was booed at a rally and pelted with tomatoes by whistles and catcalls during an election event in East German town of Torgau. But this is how the Chancellor reacted: “People in other countries would be delighted if they could demonstrate in this way”, Angela Merkel said, as more than 100 far-right protests attempted to drown out her speech with boos, whistles and cries of “traitor.” “That’s why we should be happy that we have democracy in Germany and that we can vote freely. Other people can only dream of that,” the Chancellor said,
Lessons to be learned from Nuremberg:
This incident must have awakened our consciousness. Why are these organizations ignoring the existential problems our people are faced with back home? Why are we celebrating “yam” while our house is burning? What is the value of celebrating “Igbo Day” abroad when our days in Nigeria are becoming numbered? This was the main message of the protesters in Germany. Anyone who didn’t get that message wasn’t paying attention. It was directed, not just at Ekweremadu, but at all of us. The reality of this incident points to the fact that in the future, we are going to see more of such protests across the world. It’s about time. It would be a good day in paradise to see that happen. People have always wondered what it would take to wake our people up and shake off their apathy.
Some Nigerian analysts say other legal and legitimate means should be found to hold our leaders accountable. Mob action and insults to our elders do not say good about our people”
But they forget that he who makes changes impossible makes revolt and mob action inevitable. One issue is certain. The events in Nuremberg has set the apathy of the government on the suffering of the Igbos and Nigerians, the killings going on in Nigeria on media agenda in Germany, Nigeria and worldwide social media: African politicians must learn to be servants of their electorates and deliver or quit the office gracefully or face the consequences of not doing their jobs.
Nigerians on social media have reacted to the attack on the former deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Germany. Some described the attack as a warning to all Nigerian politicians going outside the country. “Treat first the ailments at home before coming here to be a preacher Tom”
Remmy A. “Apology is not needed. This should serve other officeholders as a great warning who see politics as a possible means to make money but never serve the people who elected them. He has been in the job of Senate President and in fact, since nine years the Igbo youths have suffered untold killings and disgrace in Nigeria under other tribes, but he never resigned as he could not change the Status Quo, he rather danced to the tune of the killer whale. When is the change of marginalization coming to the East? A country where you are a national and your fate is decided on basis of your tribe and state of origin has no chance in the 21st Century to survive as a nation. Our intelligent and educated southern youths are never given chances in Nigeria: We get these chances only abroad. What a pity and he had the audacity to come to an Igbo Party with Nigerian pride of a useless “Coat of Arms” jacket”.
Tom A. “In certain situations, complacency could be seen as a crime. An elder present at home, while a goat gives birth in tethers, is a crime. Remaining quiet and mute while your people are killed, massacred, women raped etc. while they (your people) gave you their voice, is a crime. Globetrotting and parading yourself as “a leader” while playing indifference to the sufferings of your people, is a crime. Perhaps going to Nuremberg, Germany to celebrate yam festival at tax payer’s expense, to some, is like adding salt (and insult) to injury. And that too is a crime. Anger and unhappiness is the foundation of all-flash mobs. The cat is out of the bag. The next Nigerian politician would think twice before travelling abroad. Let them stay here in Nigeria and use the same hospitals as the rest of us instead of travelling abroad for medical checkups. That too is a crime”.
Below are the comments via Twitter:
@Ogbenidipo “Ike Ekweremadu was attacked in Germany today by some folks at a New Yam Festival event. This stands condemned but it should signal to our politicians that they need to be careful when they travel abroad. No DSS/Police here to deal with anyone. Max, they’ll be charged for assault.”
@Obinnaomoyiibo “I have no chill for most Nigerian politicians, they are thieves, they are not transparent and never inspirational to their people. Just show of pride and ego towards people they lead. They get what they deserve.”
@Chnnqdozie “Just watched the video where Ike Ekweremadu was taunted by some angry IPOB youths in Germany. It’s a message. Rotimi Amaechi, Orji Uzor Kalu and other accursed slaves working for this govt, your day of reckoning is near.”
@Kingsleymaximo “If the Ekweramadus of Nigeria lead very well, with love and compassion for the people, they will have no need for such protection abroad in the first place. The hostility stems directly from the failure of governance. Those in power should do better or face similar treatment.”
@Donhollar “All of them who turn Nigeria to what it is today will pay for their sins. Try and listen to what someone said on that video. That “people are dying daily back home”
@Nnamexi “What Igbos did to Ike Ekweremadu in Germany is so lovely. I’m Igbo I’m so proud. If we made politicians realise how repulsive they truly are, they would have a rethink. If you hoodwink Nigerians in Nigeria, don’t come abroad to try that. I await the self-righteous ones.”
@AEberonwu “Was Ike Ekweremadu not the one who financed and formed IPOB, with the guise of damaging Buhari and the new APC administration in 2015. Now the sword of Damocles has been pointed at him and he is reaping what he sows. Karma is a Bastard. Law of retributive justice is alive.”
@MistaChika “This is just the beginning: What happened to Ike Ekweremadu today, should send a signal to Nigeria politicians that a time will come when the hero-worshipping will end and we will decide to own our future. They might be getting the same treatment.”
@CollinsUma “Ike Ekweremadu wouldn’t be suffering this if he had supported Peter Obi and Atiku. But he sold out because he wasn’t picked as VP candidate. Sow to the wind, reap the whirlwind.”
@Realpsalmie7 “The beating of Ike Ekweremadu in Germany is another sign that Nigerian youths are ready for the #revolution our FG is fighting against.”