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Nigeria Intensifies Crackdown on Terrorism: Simon Ekpa, 96 Others Declared Wanted

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ABUJA, Nigeria – In an escalation of its counter-terrorism efforts, the Nigerian Army announced on Friday, March 22, 2024, that it has declared 97 individuals wanted for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities and violent crimes across the nation.

The announcement was made by Major General Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, who released the names and photographs of the accused during a press conference at the Defense Headquarters.

The list includes a wide array of suspects ranging from notorious terrorists operating in the North East and North West regions of Nigeria to separatist agitators in the South-East and North Central areas.

Among those declared wanted are Simon Ekpa, a Finland-based agitator, and Mr. Chika Edoziem, associated with the Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), signaling a broadened scope of the military’s crackdown on dissent and violence.

In the North West Zone, which has been severely affected by banditry, 43 individuals have been named. Prominent figures on this list include Alhaji Shingi, Malindi Yakubu, and Bello Turji, individuals linked to various acts of banditry and kidnapping that have plagued the region.

The North East, under the persistent threat from Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists, has 33 wanted individuals.

This list features names such as Abu Zaida and Modu Sulum, accused of orchestrating attacks and contributing to the destabilization in the area.

Furthermore, 21 individuals are declared wanted in the South-East and North Central regions, including Simon Ekpa and Chika Edoziem, marking a notable effort to address separatist movements and violent crimes outside the usual hotbeds of terrorism in Nigeria.

This move by the Nigerian military underscores the government’s intensified approach to combating terrorism and maintaining national security amidst ongoing challenges.

The declaration of such a large number of wanted individuals reflects the diverse and complex nature of the threats facing Nigeria, spanning from jihadist terrorism to separatist agitations.

The Nigerian Army has urged the public to assist in providing information that could lead to the apprehension of these individuals, emphasizing the role of community cooperation in ensuring national security and peace.

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