The people of Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State can now heave a sigh of relief following the removal of the 47 suspected members of Boko Haram brought into the medium security prison located in the town June this year.
Vanguard gathered authoritatively that they were removed on Tuesday night to an unknown destination amidst tight security.
It could not be ascertained yesterday where they were taken but according to our source, ‘definitely they have been taken out of Anambra State.’
There were about 134 inmates at the Ekwulobia prison before the 47 Boko Haram prisoners were brought in the dead of the night of Sunday, June 28, 2015 amidst tight security.
It would be recalled that protests by traders in all the major towns in Anambra State trailed the presence of the Boko Haram suspects soon after they were brought into the state, although calm eventually returned.
A visit to Ekwulobia Prison yesterday showed that the heavy security that was mounted shortly after the suspects were brought to the town has relaxed, as the snipers that usually sat atop a structure at the prison were not seen on their duty post. The gate of the prison was also open, unlike what the situation had been for the past three months.
However, people living around the prison said they did not know that the Boko Haram prisoners had been removed from Ekwulobia, although they said they would be happy if it was true.
Reacting to the development, president of Ohaneze chairmen for the South East and South –South, Dr. Chris Eluemunor said the removal of the Boko Haram detainees from Ekwulobia Prison in Anambra State is a welcome development.
He told Vanguard last night: “We are happy to hear this. I thank Governor Willie Obiano who insisted from the day they were brought that they must leave the state. I went to the governor and told him that I would allow him only one month to ensure that they leave the state, otherwise Ohaneze would do something the country would not like. Since this has been done, I sincerely thank the governor.”
In her reaction, the member representing Aguata Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives Mrs. Eucharia Azodo in whose constituency the Ekwulobia Prison is located, commended the Federal Government for heeding to the cry of her constituents by eventually relocating the suspected Hoko Haram detainees.
Speaking with Vanguard in a telephone interview, Azodo who was the former speaker of the state House of Assembly, recalled how she moved a motion in July this year, calling for the removal of the detainees from her constituency in view of the fear it injected in the people.
She said: “I thank the federal government for heeding to the cry of my people. I thank all those in charge for having listening ears.