Is it right that when a former Deputy Senate President and his wife are set up in a foreign country, falsely accused, docked, and humiliated in this way that our Federal Government will say or do nothing? I am not asking them to pre-judge the issue but at least they could call on the Brits to be fair, just, reasonable, and diligent in the conduct of their investigation and the case. Sen. Ekweremadu is a leading member of Nigeria’s ruling elite and political class.
He is not just anybody. He is not above the law but he represents us all by virtue of his status and achievements over the last twenty years. Our Government should not just throw him under the bus and act as if nothing has happened. It cannot put its head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and close its eyes to this shocking and traumatic drama that this poor man and his family are being subjected to. Something needs to be said.
It does not serve our collective interest as a nation or the cause of justice for our Foreign Minister to just keep quiet. We are an independent, sovereign state and nation and not a lackey, slave, or serf to the British. Can’t we appreciate that and act like one? Don’t we have any pride or self-respect? We all know that Ekweremadu is not a ritualist, a human trafficker, or an organ harvester but few have spoken. Both the FG and the Senate ought to at least say something. The FG could also use this opportunity to tell the Brits not to attempt to use this case to confirm their stereotyping and racial profiling of Nigerians.
So many of our people are now languishing in British jails as a consequence of such profiling and for no just cause. As long as you are a Nigerian the Brits always assume and believe the worse about you. This is wrong. Whether he is in PDP or APC Ekweremadu is a great son of Nigeria. He is one of us. Can we not at least give him the benefit of the doubt? Can our Government not call for caution, restraint, and justice for him?
Are we so timid and cowardly? Meanwhile, his daughter is still in the hospital waiting for help. One wonders who is looking after her and who will give her that help? Every Govt. stands for its citizens when they get into trouble in a foreign land unless and until strong evidence is adduced against them and/or there is a criminal conviction. That is the norm.
The Brits, French, Russians, Chinese, Americans and everyone else do it: why can’t we? Why do we take pleasure in abandoning, demonizing, crucifying, and sacrificing our own? Why do we always assume the worse about our compatriots? I call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the FG to stand for Sen. Ekweremadu and not remain silent in the face of what is slowly emerging as a well-planned, well-orchestrated, and well-funded criminal conspiracy and grave injustice that has been hatched against a man whose only crime is to love and want the very best for his ailing daughter.
It is Ekweremadu today, it could be you tomorrow. Please remember this. Let us take pride in who we are and let us stand for our own!
Chief Femi Fani Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation, Culture and Tourism under President Obasanjo, APC Chieftain.