Ike Ekweremadu: From Hallowed Chambers To Behind The Wall
Ike Ekweremadu, a Nigerian Senator, was elected into the Senate of the Federal Republic in 2003. He served as the Deputy Senate President for three tenures. Earlier, he has served as the Council Chairman of Aninrin Local Government Area of Enugu State. He Chaired the ECOWAS Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States while still in the Senate. Presently, Ekweremadu is convicted for offences related to organ harvesting in the United Kingdom and has been sentenced to years of imprisonment with the wife.
Sometime in 2022, while in the United Kingdom for medical assistance to the daughter, Sonia, Ekweremadu and wife, Beatrice, were arrested for contravening the UK laws. In the UK, forced organ harvesting, organ and human trafficking are serious crimes that calls for heavy punishment according to their laws. The couple and doctor who played a middleman role were found guilty of facilitating the travel of David Nwamini, 21, to Britain with a view to exploiting his kidney. They were found guilty after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey. However, their daughter, Sonia, whom they allegedly sought to procure Nwamini’s kidney, was cleared by the court for any wrong doing.
In the past, I have had phone conversation and chats with Ekweremadu on some public issues and, in all we disagreed. He always wanted to sound innocent and doing more than enough for his and the Nigerian peoples. He never liked my refusal to accept he has done greatly. On August 17, 2019, while attending a cultural programme organized by Ndi-Igbo living in Germany he was manhandled by members of Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra, IPOB over the killings of Igbos in the South East by men of the Nigerian Military. The group’s anger was the fact that Ekweremadu and other political heavy weights from the region have done nothing significant to stop the military attacks and killings.
Of course, I condemned the ugly action meted out to him but flawed Ekweremadu and other leaders of the South East for the unruly behavior of our youths. I blamed him and other Igbo leaders who have practically abandoned the Igbo land and peoples social-economic life to deteriorate. The political Igbo leaders after coming to political limelight went into acquisition of wealth for themselves and family. They abandoned the people to their fate. The South East region today lacks proper social and economic infrastructures that helps to propel development. Our educational height, science and technology standard that used to be an envy to other regions are now stagnant.
Since 1999, the South East politicians corrupted and ruined the future of the youths. A good example is Abia state. A tour of Abia state will make any sane soul ask pertinent questions. The state became a camp for cultists and hired assassins. In Abia, it was massive and open stealing of the common wealth. Rather than make the youths wealth creators, they were turned into scoundrels. No development of any sort. The people wept bitterly, begged God for deliverance. The South East politicians built insecurity all around. They manufactured unknown gunmen. Businesses nosedived. Night life died. Because, rather than build or encourage economic opportunities for the growing youth population they built armed criminal gangs.
It is a known fact that Igbo religious, traditional and socio-political leaders have failed the youths. It is the reality that is steering us all on the face. The days of reckoning are fast approaching. We must all immediately begin to re-organize and restore the Igbo land or be doomed. Since the beginning of this democracy in 1999, the masses with so much hope for better days are completely disappointed at the political class style of leadership. The average politician carries on with so much impunity and disregard for the electorates.
Every Nigerian politician since the inception of this democracy, has acquired so much wealth against building a better and prosperous Nigeria. The electricity power in Nigeria has collapsed beyond redemption. Most parts of the country stay weeks without power. Nigerian homes have their borehole for the use of water or, suffer the pain. No water corporation board serves anywhere in Nigeria except some few places in FCT. Travelling by road is risky because of the bad condition of our roads and armed kidnappers and robbers.
None of the refineries built in the 1970s and early 1980s is functioning today. We export our crude oil in quantities and buy the finished products exorbitantly for our local use. It is not so in any oil producing country in the world. Our schools are no more learning centres because of the poor state of the buildings, lack of facilities and good incentives for teachers. It is the same in our health industry. Our health workers are poorly remunerated. The Nigerian hospitals are mere consulting clinics. Our hospitals are starved of funds to purchase drugs and equipment to treat the sick and wounded.
Our security agents are treated shabbily. The monthly pay of a Senator of the Federal Republic may conveniently pay for the salaries of about hundred and fifty policemen. A Minister or Governor is more guarded than a whole state. It is that bad! Nigerian leaders must have a rethink on their leadership style. Nigeria has great potentials but lacking in leadership to organize the country for greater heights. In the last 23 years, the set of leaders that emerged are conscienceless, hence ruined the country.
What has happened to Ekweremadu could have been avoided. The ordeal of Ekweremadu and his family in far-away United Kingdom should serve as a deterrent to all and sundry who cares for a better Nigeria. But the big question remains, would our political class ever learn?
If the Nigerian state have invested in the health sector to save it from a mere consulting centre, most of the health picnics embarked upon by many public servants would be avoided. No doubt, there are well trained medical professionals in the country yet they lack government support, encouragement and conducive environment to serve the people better. The pay and allowances, conducive environment for health, education, security workers, etc. must be upgraded to encourage efficiency and dedication.
Nigeria can only be gotten right when its leaders ensures Equity and Justice for all!