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Human Rights Demands Immediate Arrest of IPOB Factional Leader, Simon Ekpa

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ABUJA, NIGERIA – A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, called for an immediate end to the violence wracking the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, labelling the escalating conflict as a “barbaric” turn of events.

In a statement from its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA also demanded the Federal Government sever diplomatic ties with Finland and expel its ambassador from Nigeria.

These actions, they argue, could compel the arrest of Finland-based agitator Simon Ekpa, who they allege is instigating violence and killings in the South-East from afar.

Ekpa has been accused of issuing destructive commands to his footsoldiers in Nigeria.

Onwubiko further implored the newly appointed Service Chiefs to immediately prioritize finding a solution to the insecurity plaguing the region.

Simon Ekpa, Ifeanyi Ejimofor, Nnamdi Kanu
Simon Ekpa

Moreover, HURIWA urged President Bola Tinubu to respect the rule of law and democratic principles by complying with an Appeal Court judgement that discharged the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The group expressed concern that the violence in the region has worsened significantly since Kanu’s detention in mid-2021, leading to the loss of hundreds of innocent lives.

Adding to the region’s woes, the South-East has endured 71 ‘sit-at-home’ Mondays between August 9, 2021, and December 19, 2022, resulting in an estimated loss of N5.375 trillion, according to an investigation funded by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR.

“The huge economic loss and irrecoverable loss of lives are painful and have had devastating effects on the overall South-East geopolitical zone,” HURIWA said in the statement.

South-East political leaders convened in Abuja on Monday, calling on the Federal Government to restore normalcy to the embattled zone.

The gathering included the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; and former Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige; amongst others.

“The Federal Government should cut off diplomatic ties with its Finnish counterpart and expel the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria over their failure to arrest and prosecute Simon Ekpa,” Onwubiko said.

“The new service chiefs and heads of security agencies must quickly get to work and use intelligence to stop these killings. President Bola Tinubu should also obey the rule of law and democratic tenets by ordering the secret police to obey the Appeal Court order freeing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”

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