Respite came to Ekwulobia town in Anambra state as the controversial Boko Haram insurgents transferred to Ekwulobia Minimum, were quietly relocated from there to an unknown location.
The relocation exercise conducted by joint security agencies was carried out secretly on Monday night.
Nigerian Pilot gathered from residents of Ekwulobia that heightened security presence was noticed in the town on Sunday but that the relocation happened at night on Monday. A resident said that they can now sleep with their two eyes closed as they have been living in fear of what might to the town because of the presence of the detainess.
The relocation brought about a pull down of intense security mounted because of the detainee in and around Ekwulobia.
It should be recalled that there was uproar when in June 28, 2015 news filtered that 47 Boko Haram suspects were transferred from various prisons. The state government, indigenes and also the Nigerian Labour Congress NLC all condemned the move.
Mr. Jerry Nnubia of NLC had stated then.
“ We condemn in its entirety the action of the Federal Government for relocating the suspected terrorists to Ekwulobia minimum prison that has no facility for such high profile in-mates. This is a period in Anambra we are breathing peace and security, courtesy of Governor Willie Obiano.
“They should be transferred or relocated to another place where they committed the crime and where they would be tried. This will stop the tension in Anambra state and indeed the South-East geopolitical zone.”
In his reaction then through a statement by his Senior Special Assistant Media, Mr. James Eze, Obiano frowned on what he described as “mischievous speculation” that he approved the relocation of the detainees
Obiano noted that when he got wind of the planned relocation, he contacted relevant authorities and raised his objection arguing that “Ekwulobia Prisons is not a maximum security prison. It is therefore not suitable as a holding place for convicted terrorists. Global experience shows that terrorists and terror suspects are kept in strongly fortified and isolated places.
“A good example is the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp where the US keeps high-risk terror suspects and convicts which is a military facility, located away from the people.
He further stated that “Ekwulobia Prisons does not fit into this category of detention facilities. The prisons has a capacity to hold 85 inmates. At the moment, there are 135 inmates in the prison. Therefore, there is no space for new prisoners. The acute shortage of space presents a high possibility for the radicalisation of other inmates by the Boko Haram convicts.
“Unlike other locations where the terror-convicts are held in sparsely populated areas which makes their isolation from the people easy, Ekwulobia is a densely populated town. There is a very high risk of contact between these radical prisoners and the civilian population with avoidable danger.
“The relocation of these prisoners to Anambra may not have paid adequate attention to the sensibilities of the country, especially the fact that some ethnic populations have suffered the most from the activities of these convicts across the North”.
Chief Willie Obiano also protested the relocation of the insurgents to Anambra to the then National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki who led a seven- man delegation to Anambra state.


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