Due to the incessant killings and destruction of properties in the Southeast region of Nigeria which has made the region volatile, the Igbo community in Finland summoned a meeting on 18th December 2022. The meeting was open to every Igbo person residing in Finland.
Lahti-based Simon Ekpa, the self-proclaimed leader of an autopilot separatist group was present at the meeting with his group. Ekpa came to the meeting venue with armed security personnel.
The purpose of the meeting was to afford the Igbos in Finland the opportunity to ask Ekpa some crucial questions over his vicious incitement that no election or political gathering will hold in the southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, a pronouncement which the group described as constituting a gross breach of the peoples fundamental human rights to assemble and vote. But prominent among the issues discussed was the recently enforced 5- day sit-at-home order he issued which they noted caused significant anxiety among the southeast‘s population.
During the meeting, defiant Ekpa insisted that he will not back down from his modus operandi, a statement which created dissension amongst those present and the meeting ended in a stalemate.
Sequel to his refusal from backing down from his activities, the Igbo community in Finland issued a statement to distance and disassociate itself from the activities and utterances of Simon Ekpa.
The group in a statement signed by its leader, Kingsley Orji, and seen by Diaspora Glitz Magazine denounced what it called “Ekpa’s seditious statements and actions” which they noted have taken a dangerously violent dimension of killing and devastation of lives and property in the Southeast region of Nigeria.
The Igbo community also stated that Ekpa’s threats and the violent actions of his group in South-eastern Nigeria have led to a high level of insecurity in Igboland, which has made it very hard and difficult to travel and do business within the region.
The Press Release of the group was published yesterday by two mainstream Nigerian media; Vanguard and Sahara Reporters.
You would recall that the case of Simon Ekpa was recently discussed at the Berekete Family radio show in Abuja where its leader, Ordinary Ahmed Isah vowed to lead a protest to the Finnish Embassy to demand the prosecution of Simon Ekpa, a scenario which may be replicated in Finland according to sources. One angry Igbo man at the meeting said “Ekpa has grown wings because Igbos in Finland kept quiet for too long, but this time it’s no longer business as usual” another young man added that ” It is only the Igbos in Finland that can make Ekpa face the law in Finland and he is very happy that the process has started.
The statement says “While we respect and recognize the rights of individuals to express their thoughts, the Igbo community in Finland strongly denounces Mr. Simon Ekpa’s seditious statements and actions.
“Consequent to the foregoing, the Igbo community in Finland is openly and strongly condemning Mr. Simon Ekpa’s violent method of operation and wishes to state our position as follows:
“We reject every illegal sit-at-home order or any other orders that restrict the economic activity and daily lives of people as criminal elements have exploited such orders to kill, steal and destroy properties in Igbo land.
“We strongly urge Mr. Simon Ekpa to rescind his undiplomatic campaign slogan that there will be no election in Biafra land in 2023and cease all his efforts to deprive Igbos of the opportunity and the right to vote and participate in the political process of electing their leaders.
“That Simon Ekpa be warned strongly not to use social media to spread threats of violence, which is making the Igbo people of Nigeria angry.
The statement also noted that there is no place on planet earth where people can simply hide, incite violence, and escape punishment. They, therefore called for action against Ekpa for him to be restrained immediately and made to face the full wrath of the law for his actions.
“We demand that Simon Ekpa be immediately restrained, investigated, and made to face the full wrath of the law both in Finland and in Nigeria. Based on Belgian Law on universal jurisdiction, the Finnish authorities should take jurisdiction right away and stop Mr. Ekpa from continuing to incite violence against life and people, murder of any kind, mutilation, cruelty, and violation of the right to life. That all relevant authorities deploy diplomatic channels to ensure that Mr. Simon Ekpa and his group are prevented from causing further damages”
The group statement read.
Below is the group’s press statement: