IPOB: South East professionals demand repatriation of Simon Ekpa, decry persistent sit-at-home

Prominent sons and daughters of South East extraction have urged the Finnish government and the European Union (EU) to immediately activate measures to repatriate the alleged fugitive, Simon Ekpa, who they said had continued to denigrate the image and dignity of Nigeria, DAILY POST reports.

They also condemned the sit-at-home order enforced by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), stating that the needless action has continued to hurt the socio-economic well-being of the people.

Operating under the canopy of the Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), the critical stakeholders said that aside from losing the lives of innocent people, hardworking Igbo businesses have continued to suffer due to the activities of the secessionists.

The professionals decried the killing of soldiers at a military checkpoint in Aba, Abia State, about two weeks ago, urging the authorities to do everything within the bounds of the law to apprehend the killers and their sympathizers and bring them all to deserved justice.

The professionals conveyed their position in a statement signed on Wednesday by Prof. O.C. Madumere, National President; Mazi Uche Igbokwe, National Secretary; and Dr. Chioma Maduka, Coordinator, Women Wing.

While commending ongoing kinetic and non-kinetic actions by Operation Udo Ka, the group, which comprises intellectuals, politicians, entrepreneurs, and other prominent indigenes, urged South Easterners at home and in the diaspora to support the military in rooting out criminal elements terrorizing the area.

The statement reads: “South East Professionals condemn in totality the mindless Sit-at-Home order declared and enforced by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their militant arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“We regret to state that this development has continued to have a negative effect on the socioeconomic and political lives of South East indigenes and residents, who suffer losses each time the aberration happens.

“As a people, we are known to be peaceful and hospitable, considering our entrepreneurial spirit, which makes us accommodating in every respect.

“It is noteworthy that whatever IPOB members are agitating for may have lost its steam and essence, against the backdrop of the fact that their brothers and sisters are the ones at the receiving end of their activities.

“Also deserving of our loud condemnation is the recent attack on troops at a checkpoint in Aba, Abia State, resulting in the death of at least five soldiers, whose only ‘sin’ was the protection of lives and property of indigenes.

“As a result of this dastardly act, and others across our states, we declare total support for Operation Udo Ka and urge the military to ensure that the enemies of the South East are smoked out from wherever they may be hiding and dealt with appropriately.

“We also use this opportunity to appeal to the government of Finland and the European Union (EU) to repatriate the fugitive Simon Ekpa, who has continued to instigate violence from his hiding place while disparaging the Nigerian state.”

Meanwhile, the CSEPNND has tasked political authorities in the zone, especially governors, federal and state lawmakers, and ministers, on the compelling need to support the military in its quest to restore peace and order across the South East geopolitical entity.

The statement said, “We are, by this statement, challenging our political office holders, especially governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives, ministers, and House of Assembly members, to show more commitment to the fight against insecurity by providing funds and equipment to the military and other security agencies operating in our land.

“There is an urgent need for South East states to set up internal security platforms to complement the efforts of the military and other security agencies.”

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