Finland authorities on Thursday, 23 February, 2023, arrested a popular pro-Biafra separatist agitator, Simon Ekpa.
According to a Finland news outlet, HS, the police escorted the separatist out of his apartment in Lahti.
The platform claimed that they had gone to Ekpa’s residence for an interview but to their surprise, the Finland police, KRP, answered when the HS team rang the separatist bell.
The HS said the KRP prevented their team from entering Ekpa’s apartment and said that the interview would be moved “to the future”.
When contacted, an official of the Finnish Embassy in Abuja who craves anonymity confirmed Ekpa’s arrest to The PUNCH on Thursday, 23 February, 2023.
“It is our understanding that he is currently in police custody in Finland,” the official who is not authorised to speak to the press told The PUNCH.
“According to information available to us, the image is verified by Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper; in it, Ekpa is seen being escorted out of his home in Lahti by plainclothes Finnish police”, the official volunteered.
Before his eventual arrest on Thursday, 23 February, 2023, Nigerians all over the world have signed a petition appealing to the Finnish government, Nigerian Government and the European Union to arrest Ekpa, the brain behind the sit-at-home order in the South-East.
Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, had repeatedly ordered the people of the South-East to observe a sit-at-home and asked them to boycott the country’s general elections billed for Saturday, 25 February, 2023. His repeated sit-at-home order has been marked by bloodshed and destruction of lives and properties in the region by its enforcers.
The PUNCH had on February 15 reported that the Federal Government summoned the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, over “hate speech and incitive comments” by Ekpa.
At the meeting with Pylvanainen, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said Ekpa’s action was fast becoming a threat to the forthcoming election, and that the Federal Government would not take it lightly with him and the Finland government if nothing drastic is done.
“We thought it was important for us to have this chat with you to let you know that, of course, he is living in the comfort of his home there in Finland and we know that we have been in touch with your good self.
“We have had some time to ensure that we arrest this situation but it appears the situation is getting out of hand. And we are saying enough is enough. We should let you know, in very strong terms that it is high time you really back Nigeria with the quest that something is done immediately because he threatens the forthcoming elections.
“The sad thing is that this gentleman has a lot of followers out there. And the moment he issues these instructions, what happens is that you have destructions the very next day. They embark on killings and burning and you name it. And we believe this is not acceptable.
“It’s important to get to know that these elections are being threatened by the actions of someone and that something needs to be done immediately, to address the situation.
“This in essence is why we thought it was important for us to have this discussion with you, so as to let you know our concerns and the displeasure of the Government of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria on this very unhealthy development,” the Minister, who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, had told Pylvanainen