Traders Protest Boko Haram Prisoners’ Transfer To Anambra

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Commercial activities were paralysed on Saturday in
Anambra State following protests by traders across the
state.
The traders, who closed their shops as early as 9am in
major cities of Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and
Agulu, took to the streets protesting what they termed
plan by the Federal Government to transfer Boko Haram
detainees to prisons in the state.
At Tarzan junction, Nkpor in Idemili North Local
Government Area of the state, traders and other
residents blocked the Enugu – Onitsha Expressway
chanting songs suggesting they would be forced to
revive the clamour for Biafran Republic if pushed to the
wall.
The traders carried placards bearing inscriptions like
‘Buhari should not destroy the peace in Anambra State,’
‘Biafra kanyi choro’ (We want Biafra), ‘Buhari, Igbos
cannot accept your prisoners, ‘We do not want Boko
Haram in Anambra,’ ‘Federal Government, why extend
Boko Haram to Anambra?’ and ‘Boko Haram prisoners
are not allowed here.’
Speaking with journalists during the protests, the
Secretary-General, Anambra State Amalgamated Traders
Association, Chief Chuma Elucharu, stated that traders in
the state decided to shut markets to protest the
rumoured relocation of Boko Haram detainees to the
state.
Eluchraru said the protests would be continuous until
the Federal Government assured that there was no such
plan.
At Onitsha, the protesters threatened to be violent
should the rumour proved to be true.
There was tension as police used tear gas to disperse the
protesters.
While addressing the traders, the President-General of
AMATAAS, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, urged them to
be calm, saying further consultation would be made by
the association to get clear picture of the situation.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr.
Uche Eze, said there was no need to panic, nothing that
the police were handling the situation.
Eze enjoined the people of the state to go about their
businesses without fear of molestation.
A senior officer in the Nigerian Prisons Service in the
state who spoke on the condition of anonymity to our
correspondent, however, said they got a signal recently
to prepare to receive some detainees of the violent sect.
But the Nigeria Prisons Service has said there is no plan
to transfer Boko Haram suspects in custody to prisons in
Anambra State as being speculated.
The NPS Public Relations Officer, Francis Enebore, said
most of the terror suspects in prison custody are still
awaiting trial and cannot be moved out of the
jurisdiction of the court where they would be
prosecuted.
He dismissed speculations that the prison authorities
had formalised plans to transfer terror suspects from
the northern states to Anambra State, saying there is
nothing like that.
Enebore said, “Most of the terror suspects are awaiting
trial and so, there is no way they can be moved to
another state because they must be tried in the state
where they committed the crime.
“Apart from this, our duty is to move them from prison
to court for trial and since they have not been
convicted, how can we transfer them to other states
outside the jurisdiction of the court where they would
be tried? People are just saying things they know
nothing about, there is no truth to the rumours that we
are transferring terror suspects to other states.”
www.punchng.com/news/traders-protest-boko-haram-prisoners-transfer-to-anambra/

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