Residents of Abaakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital were in panic mood yesterday, over the purported relocation of Boko Haram suspects to the state from Ekwulobia, Anambra.
The Sun reports that the residents had woken up to hear news that 47 Boko Haram suspects, who had been taken from Anambra, were being deposited in their state. Residents were already planning to stage a protest.
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The state governor, Dave Umahi, has, however, moved to quell the reports, claiming that there was nothing like that happening in the state.
"I received a text message shortly after I returned to Abakaliki from my trip to Israel that Boko Haram suspects previously relocated to Ekwulobia Prison in Anambra State have been relocated to Abakaliki Prison.
"Immediately I got the text massage, I made some calls and I can tell you authoritatively that Boko Haram suspects were not relocated to Abakaliki and there are no plans for such relocation. Ebonyi State is not yet ripe to accommodate such high caliber of prison inmates," he said.
The residents' fears were said to have stemmed from the fact the location where the suspects will be taken to was not revealed after their relocation from Ekwulobia prisons.
Although an impeccable source had conformed that the suspects had arrived at the Abakaliki prisons last night in four trucks heavily guarded by security operatives, the state police commissioner, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, denied being aware of any such thing happening within the state.
The public relations officer of Abakaliki prisons confirmed also that he was not aware of the arrival of the terrorists at the prison.
According to him: "I am not aware of Boko Haram suspects being brought to the prisons. If they are on their way, I don’t know."
Meanwhile, calm has been restored to Ekwulobia community following the relocation of the 47 Boko Haram suspects from a prison facility in the area.
This was contrary to heightened tension with which the residents had been living since the Islamist sect members had been incarcerated there.