The former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Buhari Bala yesterday said Nigeria’s approach to the challenges before the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in the United Kingdom.
The former minister said it is disgusting that both the government and informed citizens at all levels have not exerted their best in solidarity with the Senator that has hitherto served the nation in different key positions thereby touching positively on the lives of many Nigerians across the length and breadth of the Country.
Bala, in a statement, said the inspired role of the government so far is leaving much to be desired notwithstanding the generally accepted position that the matter is legal and not political; since at diplomatic level almost every issue is political.
He stated that he expected more sympathy and positive actions on Ekweremadu’s issue, because he got involved in the matter fighting to save the life of his daughter, an action every proud and responsible parent would do.
The former foreign minister said that he expected the federal government and Enugu State in particular and the South Eastern states to show more than passing interest in the matter.
He added that “a lot in our reward system to allow somebody who has served this country diligently at various levels both in the state and the federal government to be so humiliated without reasonable interest and cause of action from the public and government.”
He then charged the federal government to exert more pressure on the British government in respect to Senator Ekweremadu’s matter since the incident and even when found guilty, is of the head and not of the heart.
“The fact that Senator Ekweremadu informed the British High Commission in Abuja of his intentions shows that he was not dubious but pushed by the desperate urge to save his daughter which any reasonable and responsible parent would do.
“If we watch and allow Senator Ekweremadu to go down like this in a foreign land, it would send very dangerous signal about the value we place on patriotism in our country, because prior to this incident the Senator was outstandingly patriotic.”
The former minister also called on prominent Nigerians and groups to put more pressure on the British government to see reason why the human angle, rather than extreme legality should guide their actions on Senator Ekweremadu.
“One had also expected the National Assembly particularly the Senate where Sen Ekweremadu had shone like a star to bring to bear more influence on their counterparts in the United Kingdom while the Foreign Affairs Ministry should do likewise at the diplomatic level, at the earliest possible time, emphasizing that Senator Ike is a serving ranking Senator, holder of one of the highest National honors (CFR) and holder of a diplomatic passport and a recipient of Rotary Club’s outstanding Citizen of the World award..
He charged all concerned to rise up and save Senator Ekweremadu, because his offense is not shameful but out of ignorance and the natural urge to save the life of a beloved daughter.