The Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, says Finland has been encouraging a separatist, Simon Ekpa, to wreak havoc in Nigeria.…CONTINUE READING
Mr Ekpa is one of the leaders of the proscribed separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The CDS also blamed the judiciary for partly contributing to the lingering insecurity in the country.
Mr Musa said Finland must explain why it continues to protect the separatist leader. He added that the Finland Ambassador to Nigeria should be summoned to provide clarification on the stance of the Finnish government.
Mr Musa stated this on Tuesday while appearing before the House of Representatives for the sectorial debate.
The CDS appeared before the lawmakers alongside the Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja; the Chief of Naval Staff, Emmanuel Ogalla; the Chief of Air Staff, Hassan Abubakar and the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.
Mr Musa said the government must act because the utterances of Mr Ekpa are causing havoc in the South-east region.
“In the South-east, Simon Ekpa has become a menace to this country. The country must act on it diplomatically. Simon (Mr Ekpa) is having a freeway because they (Finland) are encouraging him to do what he is doing. His utterances and actions are affecting what is happening in Nigeria.
“We should never allow that. Our foreign service should step in,” he said.
Ekpa and Finnish government
Mr Ekpa, who resides in Finland, has repeatedly declared sit-at-home orders across the South-east as part of activities to force the government to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB.
The enforcement of the order often leads to killings and violence in the region.
In February, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama summoned the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, over threats by the Biafra agitator.
Mr Onyeama, at the meeting, expressed displeasure over the recent sit-at-home orders given by Mr Ekpa to his teeming followers, who he said, consequently embarked on killings, maiming, burning and other destructive activities.
Weeks after the meeting, the Finnish government arrested Mr Ekpa but released him some hours later.
According to an official statement shared with PREMIUM TIMES by the Finnish embassy in Nigeria, Mr Ekpa was arrested as part of an investigation by Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation into a suspected money collection offence.
‘The judiciary is failing us’
Mr Musa also blamed the judiciary for partly contributing to insecurity across the country.
He stated that the judiciary has not been helpful in dispensing justice in the fight against insecurity.
The CDS cited instances where the judiciary released suspects on bail after arrest by the military.
“I have been in the North-east, there were a lot of Boko Haram elements that have been captured. We have kept them for five/six years. We the armed forces can arrest but cannot prosecute.
“Some of them have been found wanting but no prosecution. We are keeping them for this lengthy period—everyone is accusing the armed forces of keeping them against their human rights but we cannot prosecute,” he said.
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