Ekweremadu: Tears and scars from Nuremberg, by Taju Tijani

If it is true that violence is not a subject for polemic and madness is not a subject for satire, would I then be allowed a writer’s license and deploy irony and state how shamefully ironic is the parade of compassion for Ike Ekweremadu, the former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, over the karate chops and happy slaps he received from Indigenous People of Biafra brotherhood in Nuremberg?
Predictably, the attack on Ekweremadu has forced a sharp blast of reactions from the rational to the irrational; from the artisans to the intellectuals, from the political class, with its duplicity, to the internet warriors, from mainstream media to the plethora of pluralized and digitalized YouTubers on daily steroid of manufactured scandals, panic and conspiracy theories. With Ekweremadu, the netizens were on a roll!!
In Nigeria, there is no person more secure in his impregnable fortress than Ike Ekweremadu as a former deputy senate president. He is the cony eternally secured in his rocky burrow. In the bearpit of Nigerian subculture of political hierarchy, he has lavish access to state security for ease and comfort from dawn to dusk and back again. In an age of radical insecurity and post-IPOB conflict with the state, Ekweremadu must be provided with armoured tanks and AK-47 wielding security officers as a bulwark against the hordes of “hooligans”, “jobless”, “unpatriotic”, “ignorant” and “violent” Nigerians who are jealous of his political stamina and his induction into the league of billionaire politicians.
Therefore attacking Ekweremadu who is one of Nigeria’s finest politicians in faraway Nuremberg in a rumble of dirty slaps, karate chops and Kung-Fu kicks was, to the political charlatans, the height of infamy and the most telling political disgrace for this powerful son of Enugu. It was a kind of a rude shock to behold the mighty Ekweremadu, a man used to authoritarian modes of domestic governance, to be so humbled by some diaspora “hoodlums” unfit to be one of his drivers at home.
Prominent political actors like President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and great many other compassion-driven ‘honourables’ have all offloaded a kind of self-protective narrative of political hysteria and righteous anger over the Nuremberg beating.
In the aftermath of the Ekweremadu Nuremberg head-butt, the international public relations space was determinedly quarantined by the Nigerian political class in an attempt to project a narrow agenda of elite solidarity without any thoughtful consideration to the genuine grievances of the overseas IPOBian/Biafran attackers. The most groveling sad figure among them all was Abike Erewa-Dabiri, the CEO/Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission. She came out to salivate on the salvation of the depraved Nigerian politicians. She has to talk tough and protect her political protégé with a vociferous and combative instinct against the hordes who live in Germany. She has to be seen firing on all cylinders and reclaiming the damning ground lost to the usual deference, subservience, respect and adulation normally reserved for visiting politicians to Europe, US and Asia. Sorry o.
However, there is a clash of convictions in Erewa-Dabiri empty solidarity overtone of command, conquest, dominance and grandiloquent grandstanding. In all her stentorian effusion, threats and uncouth bragging, Erewa-Dabiri has further infuriated many Nigerians in the diaspora. Her unguarded statement has further imperilled the safety of future visiting Nigerian politicians. In her attempt to satisfy and placate her masters in Abuja, Erewa-Dabiri had to exhibit a classic demagogic behaviour. She wants to satisfy the narrow privileged agenda of a tiny elites in a democracy that is fast unravelling as a dictatorship form of political gang up against the freedom of the Nigerian people.
Has Erewa-Dabiri ever spared a thought for the thousands of Nigerians washed ashore on the Mediterranean waters? Has she asked for assistance from Libyan authorities to fish out uniformed assassins who killed Nigerians like turkey shoot in camps in Libya? Has she deployed same demonic anger against the South African police who are daily killing Nigerians with disdainful xenophobic impunity? Has there ever been any request to the governments of Malaysia, India and China for the cruel treatment and killing of Nigerians in these countries? Erewa-Dabiri partisan political sympathy for Ekweremadu was manifestly evil, unpatriotic, depraved and calls to question if we have two Nigerians. Is Ike Ekweremadu’s pampered life more valuable than the thousands of other Nigerians jailed, used and killed around the world? Worse was Erewa-Dabiri cavalier insolence by calling on the German government to fish out those who molested Ekweremadu. Her blustering ascription of arrogance was mind boggling. It showed a total ignorance of the democratic values of the Western nations.
In fact, German Government, I dare say, was encouraged by what Nigerians did to Ekweremadu. The government is happy that Nigerians are now taking their destiny in their own hands by going after the jugular of corrupt politicians like Ekweremadu who turned them into unwanted, hated and despised immigrants in their land. To the German security officers, it is within the democratic rights of Nigerians to vent their collective displeasure on political figures who are seen to be corrupt and non-accountable. In fact, a school of thought said that Ekweremadu was lucky. In Ukraine, the entire national assembly members were thrown into dustbins! The victims took the humiliating treatment stoically in full respect for democratic tradition.
Not in Nigeria. Erewa-Dabiri quick response and call for those who beat Ekweremadu to be arrested showed clearly that Nigerian politicians live in a virtual world of illusion and digital outer space. Help! Now the stage is set for more beatings for these tribe of ignoramus and brazenly pompous politicians whose regular grand gestures to the pulverized people of Nigeria is nothing but the language of authority, command and threats. Diaspora Nigerians in America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere are now training their radars on any visiting politician for proper beatings to send home the message that they do not live under repression and authoritarian regime.
The Nigerian political class should understand that Nigerians in the diaspora have removed the imported fetters of servility, fear and obedience inherited through years of living under militarized, corrupt and rouge administrations.
In the western world, Nigerians have seen the true workings of democratic governments in action. This is their culture shock. When compared with our society, they realized that in Nigeria – a practicing democracy – politicians are above the law of the land. They realized that our common wealth is being squandered to indulge politicians’ prejudices for opulent living: prestige cars, billion naira mansions, heart-stopping salaries/allowances, private jets, foreign homes, blissful philandering and wasteful convoy. Diaspora Nigerians have come to realize that it is easier, as foreigners, to win election in their local boroughs in London, Paris, Rome, New York, Dublin, Amsterdam and Berlin than in Nigeria. What does that say about our heavily monetized, democratic chicanery?
In Nuremberg, the profligate monoculture of our politicians was challenged by men and women who, when in Nigeria, were castrated by dysfunctional, obsolete and oppressive system that frustrated every effort to enjoy the good life they now come to find in abundance abroad.
The Nuremberg beating was a testament to the fact that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to the continued survival of poor Nigerians. The Nuremberg rumble was an affirmative action to say that Nigerians in the diaspora are tired of unbundling their earnings to feed tired parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and unemployed relations. The Nuremberg episode was saying that the Nigerian politicians who lazily ignore the plight of Nigerians for a better life must themselves be forced to eat unpalatable yam from now on.
The Nuremberg beating was a way to find a solution to our irresolvable moral dilemmas and insoluble contradictions. It is to say that the excesses of Ekweremadu and our political elites have, over the years, translated into putting millions of Nigerians in hellish poverty. If there is too much dirt in the soup, even the blind man will know. That translates into saying that all Nigerians are aware of the fact that Nigeria is a breeding ground for a very tight, narrow clique of greed-addicted parasitic politicians who have turned Nigeria into a shithole of corruption. Diaspora Nigerians are aware that this state of play is intensifying hourly with every stolen public money, repression of opposition, profligacy, impunity, fraud, injustice and government inaction. And the only way to stop this paralyzing hemorrhage of our collective resources is to start beating, tearing the clothes and seizing the caps of our visiting conquistadors.
Nigerians in the diaspora are angry that they are the burden carriers for their families’ social, economic and moral poverty. And the best way to vent their collective anger was to beat a visiting politician, known for corruption, in fear that he may greedily cart home the whole yam meant for the yam festival. Habit die hard!!!
. tajutijani@hotmail.com.