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Igbos in Finland disown Simon Ekpa, lament Finnish govt’s stance



Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) community in Finland has revealed the government’s response after Simon Ekpa, a self-described Nnamdi Kanu disciple, was reported to them.

According to the Igbo community, Ekpa has fostered murder and bloodshed in Nigeria’s South-East.

Kingsley Orji, the chairman of the Igbo community in Finland, in a statement on Wednesday, claimed that the organization had complained to the European General Assembly and the Finnish General Assembly, but they had declined to take any action.

He claimed that despite the group’s formal request to the Finnish government to put an end to Ekpa’s statements and instructions to his adherents in south-east Nigeria, nothing has been done.

Orji further alleged that when the pro-Biafra activist declined to show up before the European General Assembly last Friday, nothing was likewise done.

He said: “We are aware he is causing problems in Nigeria and we have laid complaints but they are telling us about his human rights. He was to appear before the European General Assembly last Friday but he didn’t and nothing was done to him.

“Simon Ekpa is a politician here in Finland and he belongs to a political party. And we are talking about a man who openly canvasses for arms and ammunition to be supplied to him.

“To tell you the truth, we don’t know what he does exactly or says exactly to the people in Nigeria that makes them obey him foolishly. But he believes he is fighting a cause. I will advise the people the Igbo in Nigeria to go about their businesses and on election days, go and cast their votes.

Read also:Group alleges Simon Ekpa collected $1m to sabotage Obi’s presidential bid

“What baffles me is that governors of these south-east states allow someone outside Nigeria to control what is happening in the states they govern. Are they not the chief security officers of these states? Are they going to fold their hands and do nothing? Simon Ekpa is living peacefully here just like the other 400 Igbo who are also citizens of Finland. I am a citizen too and if Ekpa is living here and causing problems in the southeast of Nigeria. It should be taken seriously and acted upon.

“I don’t see anything happening to him from this end because they respect human rights here and activism is allowed but if terrorism is what he is practising in Nigeria, then that should be tackled seriously. We have pushed him here for the government to tackle but I don’t see government doing anything. But something can be done from Nigeria. The governors of the southeast should stand up and defend their territory if they see him as a threat.”

The actions of Ekpa have resulted in a diplomatic wrestling match between Finland and Nigeria.

Vocal on social media, Ekpa has urged Igbo people to demonstrate and boycott elections he views as not being free. By drawing international attention and increasing pressure on the Nigerian government, he wants to push for a referendum on Biafra’s independence.

“There is no amount of carnage by the Nigeria terrorist state that will stop Biafra from exiting Nigeria this year,” Ekpa recently tweeted as accusations of inciting violence and harassment between the Nigerian government and Ekpa’s movement ‘The Indigenous People of Biafra’ (IPOB) have been flying high.

The Nigerian Foreign Ministry has already summoned the Finnish Ambassador and demanded Finland take action against Ekpa’s broadcasting.

According to Finland, however, voicing one’s political opinion should be viewed as a constitutional right with regard to which authorities only intervene in case of suspected criminal activities.

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