There is no running away from the clear and present danger that one man in Finland, a shadowy figure named Simon Ekpa is unleashing bloody terrorism on the people of Southeastern Nigeria. He has continued to insist that no elections should take place in the Zone.
In the wee hours of Monday, February 20, a rampaging gang of youths in their attempt to burn down Awada Police Station near Obosi had a fierce exchange of gunfire with Anambra State security personnel and three of the hoodlums were neutralized.
The same scenario had happened the previous day when some unknown youths attacked the 3-3 Police Station in Nkwelle, Oyi Local Government Area and five of the gangsters were killed by the state’s gallant security men.
It is not unlikely that these young men in their prime are heeding the call to enforce the sit-at-home directive of Simon Ekpa from faraway Finland in order to violently put on hold the impending polls.
It is noteworthy that Ohanaeze Ndigbo had countered the Simon Ekpa directive by calling on the Igbo nation to ignore the sit-at-home order. A section of Ohanaeze in The Guardian newspaper publication of February 17 stated that Simon Ekpa by his utterances and actions has assumed the toga of a terrorist and sponsor of terrorism in Nigeria.
This assertion is not far from the truth given the recent upsurge of attacks in the Southeast where misguided young men have met their untimely death while attacking police stations and INEC offices. The uncountable destruction of property cannot be tolerated in any society whatsoever.
The Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) that Simon Ekpa claims to be working for has serially denounced his murderous directives and stated that the spilling of fellow Igbo blood in the name of the struggle is sacrilegious in Igbo land. Even the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has made known his displeasure over the unconscionable killings that have no place in the culture of the Igbo people.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, represented by his Minister of State, Zubairu Dada, recently summoned the Finish Ambassador, Leena Pylvanainen, to discuss Simon Ekpa’s directives which have culminated in the destruction of lives and property in the Southeast. At that meeting, the Finnish Ambassador was told by his host that “enough is enough” with regards to Mr Ekpa’s incitements and taking advantage of the ignorance of some of these youths to visit mayhem on Igbo land.
The Ambassador’s response appears to be begging the issue when she said that the “Finnish government was already investigating the threats to determine how the matter fits into the legal framework of Finland, given that Mr Ekpa is a Nigerian-Finnish citizen”.
In any case, the Finnish Ambassador assured that her government will not “trade with anything” that will jeopardize their relationship with Nigeria.
This happens to be the time for the government of Finland to make good the words of its Ambassador if they truly value their relationship with Nigeria. Bilateral relations between friendly nations such as Nigeria and Finland must not be truncated on the bloody charge of a miscreant such as Simon Ekpa.
It is a big travesty of our time that people are dying and properties are being decimated in Nigeria on account of a directive by somebody sitting pretty in faraway Finland, one of the most peace-loving countries of the world. This is one situation that the Finns will not tolerate in their own country.
On the part of Nigeria, the government should expedite action on the diplomatic front for the extradition of Simon Ekpa from Finland to Nigeria to face the due process of the law. The Federal Government should not relent on the effort, otherwise, Simon Ekpa would be seen as a kind of sacred cow being protected in a mercenary manner by some subterranean forces.
It should prick the conscience of the Finnish government that so much blood is being spilt in Nigeria on the orders of a dangerous terrorist being harboured and protected in their land. It is incumbent on the Finnish government to do something drastic about Simon Ekpa’s nuisance.
Nigeria is poised to hold a consequential election, and nothing should be allowed to compromise the election in a manner that may end up destabilizing Africa’s most populous country. If by omission or commission Simon Ekpa is allowed to serve as an agent of the destabilization of Nigeria, the entire West African sub-region may be completely ruined.
Chukwudi Agaba writes from Anambra State
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