Tuesday, 7 July 2015

President Buhari's Preferential Treatment to Boko Haram Inmates in Anambra Sparks Protests At Ekwulobia

National President of ASATU

PG-Ekwuluobia Prison


By News48hrs.com
…As 177 Presidents-General In Anambra Denounce Boko Haram

News48hrs.com reports that alleged preferential treatment meted on the 47 Boko Haram detainees deposited at the Ekwulobia prison in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State has created disaffection between the old inmates of the prison and its officials, and might result to war or possible jail break.

News48hrs.com today, uncovered that the Boko Haram detainees are being kept in neat cells and fed three times a day with N500 per plate food bought from a hotel at Ekwulobia, while the old inmates are being fed on a poorly prepared meal worth N250 per plate three times a day.

A reliable source who spoke to news48hrs.com on condition of anonymity, alleged that while the sum of N1500 is expanded on each of the 47 Boko Haram prisoners a day, the sum of N750.00 is spent on each of the old inmates.

According to the source, the old prisoners already aware of this feeding differential, are threatening to revolt to press home their disdain over government’s apparent treatment of the Boko Haram prisoners preferentially.

This is even as the President-Generals of 177 communities in Anambra State, yesterday expressed shock and embarrassment over the relocation of 47 Boko Haram detainees to Ekwulobia prison in the state, and called for a reversal as matter of immediacy.

The Presidents-General who matched through the streets of Awka, the state capital down to the government house with placards reading, "President Buhari Give Us Democracy Dividends not Boko Haram", “Boko Haram is high security risk”, “We need peace not Boko Haram”, “Ekwulobia Prison Yard is not a Maximum Security Prison”, among others, also sang “All we are saying no Boko Haram!”

They protested under the aegis of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), after which they read a communiqué signed by the body’s National President, Dr. Jude Okolo and the Secretary, Peter Nwagu recalled that Southeasterners; their worship centers, business outlets, locations, social gathering and so on had in the past being the targets of “This callous, vicious and violent organisation that killed, maimed and displaced our people from their various areas of livelihood in Northern Nigeria.”

As a result, ASATU stressed that it was wrong to transfer these “Violent religious bigots and fundamentalists who consider Christians as infidels who do not adhere to their bizarre beliefs and consequently ought to be exterminated to Ekwulobia”, even as they noted that the relocation was ‘ill conceived, ill considered, grossly insensitive, condemnable and totally unacceptable’.

“Why should the Federal government relocate these dreaded Boko Haram insurgents to Ekwulobia, Anambra State, where in the recent past its people hiring in northern Nigeria were deliberately and viciously attacked and those who were lucky to be alive were financial and mentally traumatised and wrecked having been displaced from their area of domicile and areas of livelihood.

“There is no military presence in case of the recurrent emergency of prison breaks associated with Boko Haram insurgents. This is in fragrant disregard of prison conventions and best practices worldwide.

“The courts in Anambra State have no jurisdiction to try them  for offences committed outside the State since these Boko Haram detainees have not been tried and convicted and should therefore be classified as awaiting trial”, the communiqué said, adding that the lives of the Boko Haram detainees could be at grave risks and endangered because of livelihood of reprisal or revenge attack by family members of the victims of Boko Haram insurgents in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Also reacting, President-General of Ekwulobia Town Union, Rev. Dr. Ezeike Chukwuemeka laments that the residents of Ekwulobia are currently relocating to other communities because of fear of the Boko Haram suspects deposited in their domain without due consultation.  

Ezeike, who further alleged that economic activities in the town had been crumbled as markets closed down indefinitely, accompanied with sleepless night and hardship trailing his people, appealed to the federal government to relocate the Boko Haram prisoners to a place close to where they would be tried.     



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