A viral letter on social media claims that the Finnish government has threatened to arrest Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“On the 23rd day of February 2023, there will be a sit-at-home. On the 24th day of February 2023, there will be a lockdown in the entire Biafra territory. On the 25th day of February 2023, Biafra land will be under lock and key. On the 26th of February 2023, Biafra land will be sealed and will be under the lock of key, there will be no movement of chicken. On the 27th of February 2023, Biafra land will be under total lock and key. On the 28th of February 2023, Biafra land will be under lock and key,” Ekpa said in a broadcast.
“I want Biafrans to understand that these particular dates and days are still subject to review, review in the sense that the sit at home may be called off at any point in time. In addition to the affirmation dates, there will be an imposition of curfew on two of those days – on the 24th and 25th of February 2023. In addition to the sit-at-home, there will be a six-to-six curfew.
“There will be an imposition of curfew on all federal roads in the following areas: all federal roads leading to Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state.
“I want Biafrans to understand that on these days mentioned, it will be an open war between Biafra and Nigeria because we are fighting to protect our life, our property, our villages, our cultures and values. So, anybody who the Nigerian government send to come and fight Biafra, we will engage you.”
The presidential and national assembly elections are slated to hold on February 25.
A few days after the video emerged on social media, a letter purportedly from the Finnish government surfaced on social media, warning the IPOB spokesperson to withdraw the sit-at-home order.
The letter allegedly signed by Sanna Marin, Finnish prime minister, and dated February 15 2023, claimed that Ekpa would be arrested and charged with international terrorism if the order is not reversed within 48 hours.
In a tweet on Thursday, Adamu Garba, former senator and ex-presidential aspirant, lauded the Finnish government for placing an eye on Ekpa.
“Simon Ekpa is on his way to Nigerian Prison. The Finnish authorities are after him. He’s now under global surveillance I tell you this & is a promise: There is no enemy of this country that will ever succeed. The worst fruitless struggle is that which is targeted against Nigeria,” he tweeted.
The tweet had 98.8k views, 510 likes and 176 retweets.
When the community decides to cook for you, you will not be able to finish the food. Simon Ekpa has been issued a warning by the Finnish Government.
— Damian. (@BigChiefDamian) February 16, 2023
Patiently waiting to see what route Simon Ekpa will take, Finland gives 48 Hours to him to reverse Sit-At-Home Order Or Face International Terrorism. pic.twitter.com/0DEazWPX2U
— Nwaada Ọlụchi Your data plug. (@Ada_di_ora_mma) February 16, 2023
“Finland’s prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen is not the lady to mess around with. Simon Ekpa you are in serious trouble, you can ask the US government,” said another Twitter user.
But did the Finnish government author the viral letter?
In a statement sent to TheCable, Ima Edem, media officer to the Finnish government, said the letter was not from the country.
“The letter purporting to be signed by the Prime Minister of Finland and currently circulating widely in the media does not originate from the Finnish government,” she said.
“We have reported the Twitter message, with which this fake letter was originally distributed, and asked Twitter to remove it.”
The viral letter threatening Ekpa with arrest and charges of international terrorism is not from the Finnish government.