…As Community keeps prayer vigil for Estranged Senator, Wife
As Nigerians the world over await with bated breath the pronouncement of sentence by the UK Court on former Deputy President of the the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; his wife, Beatrice, and a UK-based Nigerian doctor, Obinna Obeta, members of the Ikeoha Mpu Pacesetters League IMPL have joined their voices in calling on the UK Court to show clemency to their mentor, and brother by releasing him and the wife unconditionally.
This is even as the people of Mpu community held a prayer vigil till the morning of Thursday to pray for divine intervention, stressing that the long absence of the lawmaker, who they said transformed Aninri LGA and gave a new lease of life to thousands, was already affecting them.
Recall that the Nigerian Senate, House of Representatives, ECOWAS Parliament, Prominent serving and past leaders such as the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo among others have written the UK Court and Government asking for mercy on the Ekweremadus.
Addressing the media, Ikeoha Mpu Pacesetters League IMPL, an assembly of individuals, numbering over 500, who were empowered by Senator Ekweremadu through sponsorship of their education and securing of jobs in different spheres of life, said Ikeoha was a big tree and his fall would spell doom thousands.
The President General of the Association, Engr. Chijioke Benjamin, Ezekwe told newsmen that the conviction of Senator Ekweremadu and wife based on certain mistakes made in trying to save their ailing daughter does not in anyway represent their true character.
Engr. Ezekwe who also informed the newsmen that he was among the thousands of people that benefited from Ikeoha Foundation Education Scheme of the Senator said his contributions to humanity and the development of Africa at large should be considered by the UK Government.
The IMPL President maintained that the calls for mercy on the Ekweremadus which are coming from every quarters of Africa and the globe were enough testimonies that Ike Ekweremadu remains a role model for generation to come.
He said, “it is rather ironical to believe that the same man that had denied himself comfort to train many indigent persons both in his community and beyond,built roads and Schools,created employment opportunities, sponsored so many life changing bills at the National Assembly and served African Continent meritoriously as Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the Parliament of ECOWAS ,including other global assignments to intentionally commit such a crime. But since they have been pronounced guilty, all we are pleading is for mercy.
“Like the Biblical Docars, Senator Ekweremadu and wife were like god to many. For the sake of our sister Sonia who is still battling with life threatening ailment, they should be released unconditionally to reunite with their family and loved ones. We commend all those that have voiced out their hearts in testimonies of whom the Ekweremadus are. We shall all intensify our prayers, for the darkest hour of the night is closer to morning”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, it was like a crusade at the Community Primary School, Amagu Mpu playground, as both the old, young, and widows, defied the rain to gather and cry to God to deliver their son, whom they described as the backbone of the community and a philanthropist.
However, this wasn’t the first time the people of Mpu community and Aninri in general gathered for such.
Even with the Court pronouncing them guilty, the faith of the people remain strong and their belief unchanged that God would intervene in their behalf.
Leading the prayer, the pastor in charge of Ancient Path Revival Assembly Mpu, Nathaniel Nwankwo, maintained that the community had not relented in praying and crying to God for help, mercy, and intervention, knowing that the date of sentencing is around the corner.
“No human being is above mistake, but since they have pronounced Ikeoha and our caring mother guilty, we pray that God showed mercy to Hezekiah; who showed mercy to the woman that committed adultery in John chapter 8 verses 1:11; will also see reasons to touch the heart of the British authorities to show mercy to the Ekweremadus.
“Our prayer is that God should turn our tears into manifestation of joy and Senator Ekweremadu and wife will be freed irrespective of the offence.
“His good works speak volume of him in a positive manner. This is a man whom the suffering and cry of the poor hurts so much so that each time he visits home, he throws his gate open and nobody visits him without smiling home. Apart from gifts, he would sit with you, hold your hands, comfort you and solve your problems as much as he could.
“The Bible says that blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. This is the hour that Senator and wife should be rewarded with mercy”.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of Amokofia Mpu, Igwe Cyprian Ije, said that sentencing Senator Ekweremadu would be an end to an era and appealed to the Federal Government and other well meaning Nigerians to lend their voices to ensure his release.
The royal father lamented that so many indigent students under Ikeoha scholarship scheme have discontinued their studies due to lack of funds while the town had become a ghost of its itself since his arrest in June last year.
Igwe Ije said that the prayers would continue until God answered.
A woman leader, Lolo Happiness Aja, who spoke on behalf of the women, appealed to the UK Government to temper justice with mercy ,even for the sake of Sonia whose hope for surviving lay largely in her parents.
“We are pleading for the mercy of God on our son, Ike Ekweremadu and wife. Let God raise a lone voice to speak for him.
“As you can see, the women are not happy. Without him, we are just empty. We want them to regain their freedom.
“We want Sonia to be well again. As you can see, we are not ready to leave here until God hears our cry and we know He will do it for us”, she managed to say, amid tears.