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Ndi-Igbo Germany apologises to Ekweremadu, calls for Igbo unity

Ndi-Igbo Germany (NIG), the umbrella/apex union of all Igbo unions operating in the Federal Republic of Germany, has tendered an unequivocal apology to former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, over the attack on him by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany at the weekend.

The group distanced itself from any group that encourages violence, directly or indirectly, and called for unity of all Igbos worldwide.

In a press release on Monday signed by Oge Ozofor, its coordinator, Ndi Igbo Germany condemned in strongest terms the action by the members of IPOB in Germany, describing the attack as “unprovoked, unwarranted and senseless” and unreflective of the true Igbo spirit.

“We, Ndi-Igbo Germany, wish to offer our unequivocal apology to our special guest of honour, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy senate president, for the unfortunate treatment misdirected at him by members of IPOB,” the group said.

Ndi Igbo Germany also apologised to Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and all well-meaning Igbo-Diasporan groups and associations, both at home and abroad, for the “disgrace”, and extended its regret to the National Assembly and Nigeria in general.

The group said it was in a bid to encourage foreign investment and industrialisation of Igboland and Nigeria that it had invited Ekweremadu for its 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival and Convention, aimed at providing a forum for Ndi Igbo in Diaspora to network and to engage the German business community.

The group said it had also invited other illustrious sons and daughters of Igboland, including Nnia Nwodo, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Innocent Chukwuma, CEO, Innoson Group of Companies; His Majesty Eze Chukwuemeka Eri, Eze Akajiofo Igbo; Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra State; Prof. Mazi Ojiaku; Mike Okiro, former Inspector General of Police; Bianca Ojukwu, wife of late Igbo leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu; Evan Enwerem, Jr., and governors of the five South-Eastern states.

It said the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, and representatives from the office of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission from Abuja were in attendance.

“It must be emphasised that Senator Dr. Ike Ekweremadu had nothing personal to gain in attending our cultural day; rather, the Igbo residents here in Germany lost an opportunity to tap into his reservoir of knowledge,” NIG said in the statement.

Suing for peace, NIG said Saturday’s incident should be a rallying call to all Igbos at home and in the Diaspora to always seek unity “rather than primitively turning against ourselves in senseless violence which will make neutral and friendly global nations turn away from us”.

The attack on Ekweremadu, which took place on Saturday, August 17, has since attracted condemnation from prominent Nigerians, including Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM); Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minority Leader of the Senate; Austin Umahi, South-East PDP chairman; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), among others.

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