By Emmanuel Obisue
Reports from the Finnish media on Thursday indicated that Biafran separatist leader; Simon Ekpa has been arrested in Finland.
Ekpa was reportedly taken into custody by plainclothes police officers just before he was scheduled to be interviewed by a filmmaker at his residence in Lahti, southern Finland.
The reason for Ekpa’s arrest is not yet clear, but the paper suggests that he is likely to face prolonged interrogations.
Police officers who made the arrest said they were simply doing their job.
Ekpa’s arrest comes at a time when he has been intensifying efforts to frustrate Nigeria’s presidential election, which is scheduled for February 25.
Ekpa became the de facto leader of the secessionist movement following the abduction of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB by Nigerian authorities in June 2021.
He has declared a so-called “sit-at-home edict” for residents across the South-East region of Nigeria, urging them to stay away from polling centers or risk suffering violent consequences.
Nigerian authorities had previously urged Finland to intervene and check Mr. Ekpa’s inciting broadcasts from the safety of the European country.
It remains unclear whether the police acted on Nigeria’s request or in response to the widespread online clamor for the separatist leader’s arrest, particularly among supporters of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.