Ahead of today’s sentencing of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice for organ harvesting, prominent Nigerians and Africans have continued to appeal to the UK Court for clemency on the troubled Nigerian Senator.
In a last-minute plea, 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 his wife unconditionally.
Meantime, the people of Mpu community held a prayer vigil till the morning of yesterday 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.
In a press conference, 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 for thousands.
The President General of the Association, Chijioke Benjamin Ezekwe told newsmen that the conviction of Senator Ekweremadu and his wife based on certain mistakes made in trying to save their ailing daughter did not in any way represent their true character.
Ezekwe, who was among the thousands of people that benefited from the 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 quarter of Africa and the globe were enough testimonies that Ike Ekweremadu remains a role model for generations 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 intentionally committed such a crime. But since they have been pronounced guilty, all we are pleading is for mercy.”
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 remained strong and their belief unchanged that God would intervene on 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 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 who 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 a manifestation of joy and Senator Ekweremadu and his wife will be freed irrespective of the offence.”
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 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 survival largely depends on 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.”