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Polls: Nigerian elders protest to Finnish govt over Ekpa

A pan-Nigerian elders forum has met the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, to protest the violent attacks on Nigeria by its citizen, Simon…

A pan-Nigerian elders forum has met the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, to protest the violent attacks on Nigeria by its citizen, Simon Ekpa and other insurgents.

The meeting is coming as Ekpa, who had recently in a series of videos, directed terrorists loyal to him in the South East to stop the conduct of the February and March 2023 general elections in the zone.

The directive had, as in his previous sit-at-home commands, increased tension and terrorists’ attacks in the zone with several security agents, judicial officers, and politicians killed while properties of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), high courts, police stations and many public facilities have been destroyed.

The official protest letter, which was presented by a delegation led by the former chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Chief Simon Okeke at the embassy in Abuja, was handed over to Pylvanainen, who was joined by the Deputy Head of Mission of the embassy, Johanna Antila during the meeting.

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The letter was signed by Chief Simon Okeke on behalf of Amb Okey Emuchay (Ohaneze); Chief Edwin Clarke (PANDEF); Prof Ango Abdulahi (Northern Elders Forum, NEF); Dr Emeka Ezeife (Igbo Elders Forum); Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere); Dr Bitrus Pogu (Middle Belt Forum); and Anthony Sani (NEF).

In a statement by Okeke yesterday, the delegation comprising Elder Ken Emechebe, Ambassador Humphrey Orjiakor, Ferdinand Agu, an architect, Prof Charles Nwokeaku, and Tagbo Okeke, informed the ambassador that a self-styled leader of a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Simon Ekpa, a resident of Finland, who is a dual national of Finland and Nigeria, has been, for a long time, sponsoring a series of terrorist and hate-motivated campaigns against the people of South East, Nigeria.

“On his instructions, many have been killed and maimed in the South East, as well as properties belonging to both private citizens, the state and the federal government worth billions of naira destroyed.

“He has also recently directed a sit-at-home throughout the entire South East region to commence before, during and after the general elections.”

Our actions on the matter classified

In her response, the ambassador, who thanked the delegation for coming, said the Finnish government appreciated that Ekpa has fundamental human rights that have to be upheld, although those rights have limits.

She said Finland was doing “certain things” about this matter, which would not be disclosed yet because they remain classified information.

She recalled a similar meeting with Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs but the federal government was yet to supply some information required to conduct the embassy’s further inquiry on Ekpa.


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