Tension has continued to raise in the past week in Anambra State and other states in the South East over the relocation of Boko Haram suspects to a Prison in the state despite assurances from the State Governor, Willie Obiano that he is on top of the matter.
While some had argued that prisons in Nigeria are run and maintained by the Federal Government, therefore should not be restricted in utilizing any facility in any part of the country, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the transfer of the inmates.
A source in the Nigerian Prison Service headquarters in Abuja told HOMELAND NEWS that it is out of order to take detainees still being tried out of the jurisdiction where the offence was committed or where the trial is taking place. He said that the task of making suspects available in court is not minor even when they are few kilometers away.
Concerns have then been raised as to why the inmates were moved thousands of kilometers away from their jurisdiction.
The speculation that the move was a subtle way of exporting Boko Haram philosophy to the South East has gained so much ground.
It is also a view among the people that the Federal Government is using the prisoners transfer as a way of punishing the South East for massively voting for the defeated President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP in the last general election.
Innocent Peace, who hails from Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state reasoned that it would have been very difficult if not impossible to brainwash a free Ibo boy or girl to kill him or herself in the name of religion.
“Most of those people in detention already have criminal tendencies and now confined in one place. It will be much easier to convince them on any ideology that still has to do with crime”.
“We are already expecting to hear of organised jail breaks then the story will be completed” he said.
There has not been any official confirmation or denial of the story despite series of peaceful protests that has taken place in many cities in the South East.
However, Governor Obiano on Wednesday told the press after a meeting with some security officials from the federal government that the Boko Haram prisoners taken to the Ekwulobia prison will be moved soon.
“I want to reassure you that the meeting went very well. The various communities in Anambra, the markets, the car Unions, the churches, our traditional institutions and others made a great point to them that we want these people removed and removed immediately. They have reassured that they will take up our message back to Abuja and that this people will be removed very soon” Gov. Obiano said.
As much as the assurances are soothing to the ears, the question of “when will this happen?” is still begging for answers.