By FEMI FANI-KAYODE
What happened to my friend and brother Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany at the hands of IPOB is an eye-opener and a clear signal to every political leader in southern Nigeria! The people of the south are getting angry and you either stand up and defend them or stand aside!
It takes courage to stand for those that have been unjustly killed in Nigeria. It takes courage to say “no” and to stand up against injustice in a jungle. It takes courage to identify and empathise with the enslaved, the oppressed, the poor, the vulnerable and the weak in a killing field and functional zoo.
Yet we must all do it or stop laying claim to being called leaders. When your people and kinsmen are being turned into worthless slaves with little hope for the future and when they are being slaughtered like flies simply because they are southerners and Middle Belters or because of their faith and you say and do next to nothing then somewhere along the line a price has to he paid.
What happened in Nuremberg yesterday marks the beginning of an awakening. Every southern politician, including yours truly, will be called to account to the people of the south about what he or she did to stop the genocide and ethnic cleansing of southerners in Buhari’s Nigeria.
If anyone believes that it is only IPOB or the people of the South-East that feel so bitter then they really do not know what is going on. The sons and daughters of the Niger Delta, the South-South and the South-West are equally aggrieved. The anger is palpable and it is spreading throughout the south.
As each day passes those of us, like Ike Ekweremadu, that have called for patience and restraint are being seen as traitors and sell-outs by our own people who demand a far more candid, courageous, proactive, dynamic, honest, protective and inspirational form of leadership.
Only God knows for how much longer those of us that are moderates and that believe in non-violent and passive resistance can hold the line. Our people are boiling and they are about to kindle a fire that may consumme us all if something is not done to appease them and give them hope.
I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to shed his cloak of partiality, to put Nigeria before his Fulani tribe, to stop the genocide, mass murder and ethnic cleansing, to remove the Fulani herdsmen from the south and the Middle Belt, to proscribe Miyetti Allah and the Fulani mlitants, to declare them as terrorists and enemies of the Nigerian state and to protect the lives of EVERY Nigerian from this great evil that has tormented our people and torn us apart.
The biggest miscalculation that the President could possibly make is to believe that this matter can be contained or that it will go away with time. The more the killings, the greater the build-up of anger and the greater the chance that things will soon explode.
We must do all we can to stop this and to restore love, peace, equity, justice, trust and mutual respect to our people and our land. That is the only way to ensure that what happened to Senator Ike Ekweremadu does not happen to other southern leaders some time in the not too distant future.
We must all be ready to stick our necks out for our people and defend them as aggressively and vigorously as is necessary or, if we fail to do so, we must be ready to pass on the baton and step aside for those that will.
Leadership requires risk and sacrifice. We, as southern leaders, must be ready to take a courageous stand and resolve to do both. We must do whatever it takes and whatever is necessary to protect the lives and property of our people, to defend their honor and dignity and to safeguard their future. This is a duty and obligation that we must pledge to uphold and a covenant that we must make before the Living God. I wish my friend and brother Senator Ike Ekweremadu a speedy recovery from the unfortunate events in Nuremberg, Germany.
(Femi Fani-Kayode, 17th August, 2019)