The Nigerian Senate has called on the Federal government to extradite Finland-based IPOB leader, Simon Ekpa to the country to be prosecuted for his role in the worsening crisis in the South East.
The motion which was sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso, Imo State, and co-sponsored by all senators from the Southeast on Wednesday, called for the end to the sit-at-home which has bred unrest in the Southeast region.
Ekpa, a Nigerian who resides in Finland, following the detention of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, has been calling for sit-at-home to protest the continued detention of IPOB leader and inciting the youths in the zone to shutdown markets and other commercial activities on Mondays.
Worried by the development, the Senate said, “something must be done urgently.”
Senator Gbenga Daniel, who rose to second the motion, said it’s a national problem, which is affecting commercial activities in the zone.
He said the sit-at-home is being made in the zone “where giant strides are being made. If commercial activities are being shut down, it’s indeed a national problem.
“While a number of people have fallen victim, I recall my good friend Ahmad Gulak was shot by people enforcing this sit-at-home order.”
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia State, in his contribution, said his state is “the epicentre” of the malaise.
He said the matter of sit-at-home started in August 2021 when the agitation group called IPOB insisted on going on sit-at-home because their leader was arrested by the DSS.
He said when the criminal angle began, “IPOB said they are no longer in support of sit-at-home.”
He averred that criminals took over to “kill, maim and commit all sorts of evil.”
He further revealed that during a visit to Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody, Kanu dissociated himself from the sit-at-home and denied knowing or authorising Simon Ekpa to act in the way he’s doing.
“There’s no one in the south east who supports sit-at-home. This is beyond the citizenry,” he said.
“What the criminals have done is to use terror tactics to intimidate the public. He added that the DSS confirmed it is the activities of few people who come out to shoot people, dispossess them of their belongings and run to hide.”
The presiding officer and President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio said it’s a national issue, which has affected people who used to travel long distances to conduct economic activities in the zone.
“This must stop,” Akpabio said.