Christopher Musa, chief of defence staff, says Simon Ekpa,
factional leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), is a
menace to Nigeria.
Musa spoke on Tuesday when he and other service chiefs
appeared before the house of representatives to brief the lower legislative
chamber on the security situation in the country.
Ekpa, a self-proclaimed follower of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader
of IPOB, has consistently called for a sit-at-home in the south-east
The sit-at-home order is often forcefully enforced by Ekpa’s
disciples, despite IPOB’s repeated disavowal of the directive.
Musa said Ekpa’s actions have led to the loss of many lives
while his “utterances” have caused significant harm to the country.
The defence chief said the nation’s mission in Finland where
Ekpa is based should step in by engaging the government of the European
“In the south-east, Simon Ekpa has become a menace to this
country,” he said.
“The country must act
on it diplomatically. Simon is having a freeway because they (Finland)
encouraging him to do what he is doing.
“His utterances and actions are affecting what is happening
in Nigeria. We should never allow that — our foreign service should step in.”
He said the government should invite the Finnish ambassador
to explain why they are protecting him.
“He is doing us more harm because, by his utterances, a lot
of people have been killed,” Musa said.
Musa said security is not only the responsibility of
security forces noting that everyone has a role to play in ensuring a secure
“We can never be everywhere. So, we need educational
sensitisation programmes for all Nigerians to understand that security is
everybody’s responsibility. What you see — talk about it,” he said.
“You don’t just keep quiet and say that it is for the police
or the army. Everybody has a role.”
The defence chief stressed that the key to addressing
insecurity is good governance.
He highlighted that military operations achieve success in
states where there are elements of effective governance by the governors.
“We have seen governors that are willing and doing things to
make the people happy and that is why we are having the cases of success we are
having,” he said.
‘IEDs IS OUR MOST POTENT THREAT’
The defence chief said improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
remain the military’s most potent threat to personnel.
He said the IEDs are clandestinely planted by insurgents and
bandits to attack military personnel.
“IEDs have remained the most potent threat that we have.
They put these IEDs on the ground and because there are no roads, a vehicle
climbs it and everyone in that vehicle is either killed or dismembered,” he
Musa also raised concerns about the nation’s borders, saying
people come into the country at will.
“Nigeria is one country where our borders are porous. We
have about a thousand borders,” he said.
“People can come in and out without checking, and that is
where we have the movement of light weapons and small arms.”
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