The Senate has urged the federal government to collaborate with the Finish government to extradite Simon Ekpa for prosecution, given his alleged roles in persistent sit-at-home orders and killings in the South-east.
The senate resolution was a sequel to the consideration and adoption of a motion at plenary on Wednesday.
The motion titled: “Condemning the disruptive Nature of Five Sit-At-Home Demonstrations in South-east Nigeria” was sponsored by Osita Izunaso (APC-Imo).
It was also co-sponsored by all other South-east senators.
Mr Izunaso, in his lead debate, said thousands of innocent lives had been lost since the sit-at-home action started, while property worth over a trillion had been destroyed.
This, he said, had resulted in investors leaving the region.
He said the “sit-at-home” civil disobedience actions in the South-east had led to the disruption, destruction of economic activities and immeasurable financial losses for businesses, workers, and the local economy.
”Because when people are forced to stay at home, and businesses remain closed, productivity declines and income is reduced, thereby affecting livelihoods and economic growth,” he explained.
According to him, the “sit-at-home” protests disrupt the education of students, leading to missed classes and delays in academic progress.
He said such prolonged disruptions had long-term effects on students’ learning outcomes and educational development.
He expressed worry that disruption of essential public services, such as healthcare, transportation, and waste disposal, continued to have a severe impact during “sit-at-home” protests.
This, he further said, was adversely affecting the well-being and safety of the general population living in the South-east.
He said the sit-at-home protests continued to lead to acts of violence and clashes with law enforcement agencies which had led to the uncountable loss of lives of innocent people, security agents and the protesters.
“As this increases the potential for criminal elements to take advantage of the situation to engage in looting or other unlawful activities while the people stay home.”
He said if the activities of Simon Ekpa, who was issuing the illegal sit-at-home orders, were not checked, he might succeed in corrupting the minds of Nigerian youth and turning them against the government, which was tantamount to a treasonable felony.
Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA-Abia) said criminals had taken over the sit-at-home phenomena and were now used to maim people, kill police officers, loot, and carry out vandalism of the property of people of the region.
According to him, his interface with Nnamdi Kanu had revealed that he (Kanu) had told him that he never authorised the sit-at-home on Mondays in the South-east, saying that it was Simon Ekpa.
He said the criminals masquerading as IPOB under the instructions of Mr Ekpa were using terror to loot and maim in the South-east.
Mr Abaribe said he had engaged the Finland Ambassador on the issue of Simon Ekpa but was told that his matter could only be discussed on the government to government basis as he was a citizen of Finland.
Orji Uzor -Kalu (APC-Abia) thanked the mover of the motion, saying the military had done well.
He said the South-east governors needed to drive the solution to the problem, saying that they had a lot to do.
Mr Kalu said over N7 trillion had been lost due to the sit-at-home order, saying that the criminals were in the bush everywhere, hijacking trucks and trailers on the highways.
“The governors must come together to work with security chiefs to solve the problem,” Mr Kalu said.
Kenneth Emeka (APC -Ebonyi) said the situation was very pathetic, as people were being kept home in the South-east.
According to him, the governors are doing their best but urged the federal government to take the matter and proffer a solution.
Senate, in its further resolutions, condemned the sit-at-home in totality and the nefarious activities of Mr Ekpa, who is the gang leader.
It invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, when appointed, and relevant stakeholders to carry out a thorough investigation and bring other sponsors of the act to book.
It, however, declined a prayer urging the federal government to use a political solution approach in handling the case of Nnamdi Kanu, given the ongoing litigation on the matter.
It urged the federal government and security agencies to use technology in tracking the criminals to bring them to book.
Senate further observed a minute silence in honour of persons who lost their lives as a result of the activities of the sit-at-home proponents.
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