By Jackson Udeani, Enugu.
The South-East Governors Forum have urged the federal government to have a rethink on the relocation of some Boko Haram suspects to the Ekwublobia prison in Anambra state, expressing concern that the move is already creating panic among the public in the zone.
The governors who met behind closed door in Owerri, the Imo state capital on Sunday, said the relocation of the suspected terrorists is already creating fear and security tension in the zone, especially around the state where the prisons are located.
Imo state governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the governors have deliberated on the possible consequences of the relocation of the Boko Haram suspects, concluding that it was not in the best interest of the zone.
“The issue is already creating security concern in the zone.” Okorocha said.
Okorocha argued that even though the decision was purely a security matter, it has a far reaching effect on the psyche of the people in the region.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to have a rethink on the relocation of the Boko Haram suspects.
“If there is any place they should be relocated to it should be Abuja where they have enough security.
“We are all part of the entity called Nigeria, and we share in the plight of our brothers in the North east, so it is not the issue of recalling the Igbo in any part of the country, but to make sure that they are secured anywhere they find themselves.”
Okorocha disclosed that the meeting equally discussed the fate of the Igbos displaced in the North as a result of the insurgency and appealed to the Federal Government to adequately compensate them.
The governors also appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to internally displaced south east citizens who were victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north.
Present at the meeting were Governors of Imo, Abia, Enugu, and Ebonyi States, while Anambra was absent, though, sent in his regrets.