Nigeria | Finland and Nigeria drifted into a special diplomatic dispute – an activist from Lahti in the background?

A fake letter is circulating on Twitter in which Prime Minister Sanna Marin threatens Simon Ekba from Lahti with arrest. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria has invited the Finnish ambassador for a discussion due to election security.

This the act is international terrorism. “

That’s what the Prime Minister read Sanna Marini in a letter signed with the name, which was addressed to a legal entrepreneur living in Lahti To Simon Ekba. A letter circulating on Twitter is fake, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms to HS, and says that it has received several inquiries from international media on the subject.

This could have been deduced from many things. Among other things, the fact that the prime minister threatens Ekba in the letter with arrest if he does not change his actions. He also says that he has appointed the Attorney General Raija Toiviainen to ensure that the decision is implemented.

Toiviainen retired last fall, and the prime minister does not issue arrest warrants in Finland.

Where from so that’s it? Ekba, who lives in Lahti, is a spokesperson for Biafra and an influential actor in the separatist movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The Nigerian government has declared the Biafra independence movement in southeastern Nigeria illegal.

A supporter of Peter Obi of the Nigerian Labor Party in Lagos on February 11. For the first time, the Nigerian presidential race is a three-way race.

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Ekba shares his political message on Twitter, for example, where he has 67,000 followers. He encourages the people of Biafra to demonstrate against the Nigerian leadership by staying in their homes.

Ekba urges Biafrans to stay at home also on Sunday, February 25, when Nigeria holds presidential elections.

Nigeria the administration is worried that Lahtlainen’s actions will jeopardize the elections in Africa’s largest country and democracy. About 225 million people live in Nigeria. The issue is so serious that the Nigerian foreign minister summoned the Finnish ambassador on Tuesday Leena Pylvänäinen meeting to discuss the topic.

Foreign Minister expressed displeasure at Ekba-instigated sit-ins at home, Nigerian newspapers claim Business Day and Premium Times. They started killing, mutilating, arson and other acts of destruction, stated the foreign minister according to the newspapers.

“It seems that the situation is getting out of hand. And we say: too much is too much. We tell you in the strongest terms that it is high time that you support Nigeria’s efforts to do something about it immediately, as the situation threatens the upcoming elections,” the minister told Pylvänäinen, Premium Times writes.

“Finland shares the concern for election security”

Finland team leader for West and Central Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jussi Nummelin tells HS that the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in contact with the Finnish Embassy, ​​and that Ambassador Pylvänäinen met the Deputy Foreign Minister of Nigeria on Tuesday, but not the Foreign Minister.

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“Nigeria has expressed its concerns about how certain actions can affect the country’s security,” says Nummelin.

“Finland shares the concern for election security, and condemns violence and incitement to it, but also actions that aim to prevent people from exercising their democratic rights.”

According to Nummelin, the Finnish embassy has discussed the matter with the Nigerian government for a long time. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not an actual party in the case.

“We in Finland and the rule of law have a clear understanding of where the line between diplomacy and jurisprudence and possible criminal sanctions is.”

The competent authorities are in contact with each other, says Nummelin. If it is a question of a suspected crime, the police in Finland have jurisdiction.

Nigeria the election commission has developed since the last election, says Nummelin. There are also an extraordinary number of possible winners in this presidential election: instead of two, even three.

“The war in Biafra has never ended”

However, Biafra is one of those geographical areas whose election security has raised concerns in advance. Biafra, located in southeastern Nigeria, declared independence in 1967.

A war between Nigeria and Biafra followed, and in 1970 the new state ceased to exist.

“Biafra the war has never ended,” says Simon Ekba to HS by phone from Lahti.

According to Ekba, protesters who stay at home will not cause violence. Instead, state security forces have killed protesters, which is why people have decided to protest by staying at home instead of rushing to the streets, he explains.

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“The Nigerian police and army are the ones killing people and defaming us.”

Ekba encourages people not to vote so that there are no candidates from Biafra for the Nigerian government. The aim is to gain attention and pressure the Nigerian government to accept the independence referendum in the Biafra region.

Biafran war veterans in Enugu, Biafra.

Ekba has lived in Finland for years, and he describes himself as, among other things, a human rights activist and a politician. In 2021, he was the coalition’s municipal election candidate in Lahti. In Yle’s election campaign, he promised, among other things, to prevent school bullying and improve the availability of public transport.

Finland and Biafra have a long history, Ekba reminds.

“Our national anthem is Finlandanthem, and during the Biafra war, a hunger strike was organized in Finland for Biafra.”

Ekba refers in Finland from 1967 to 1970, when the composition was the national anthem of Biafra.

He is sad that Finland is forgetting this history. He himself does not forget Biafra.

“I will fight for the independence of my country until the end. There are no laws there, and no human rights at all.”

Biafra! inscription at the Temppeliaukio church site in Helsinki, 1969.

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