The attention of the Abia State Government has been drawn to the statements credited to some lawmakers in the Jigawa State House of Assembly, where the latter had vowed to drag the Abia State government to court over the arrest of its citizens among the 486 Boko Haram suspects arrested by the army while travelling in a convoy of 35 buses in the wee hours of last Sunday morning.
The state government also has noted with dismay the reckless and unguarded utterances coming from some northern individuals and groups pretending to be the voices of the people of the North. These unpatriotic elements for no just cause have deliberately employed all kinds of guerrilla tactics to tarnish the good image of the Abia State government simply because it exposed and alerted the nation including the international community on the arrest of 486 suspected Boko Haram members by a team of vigilant and gallant soldiers on routine patrol at Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway.
As a responsible government, we want to state categorically that Abia State government had at no time ordered the arrest of the 486 Boko Haram suspects travelling in a convoy of 35 buses. Instead, the suspected Boko Haram members were arrested by a team of vigilant soldiers on daily routine patrol at Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along the Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway, on the suspicion that occupants of the 35 buses were travelling at odd hours. The soldiers who effected the arrests merely carried out their constitutional and legitimate duties which are to protect lives and property of the citizens especially now that insurgency is on the increase in Nigeria.
The position of the Abia State government is that the security agencies should be allowed to thoroughly investigate this matter. Those meddling into this matter through their reckless and unguarded utterances aimed at weeping up sentiments for the detained suspects are the real problems of this country. There is no need at early stage to trivialize this matter along religious and ethnic lines. The arrest of the 486 Boko Haram suspects by the army should be seen as a serious corporate endeavour which all well-meaning Nigerians should allow the law to take its normal course. The Nigerian security agencies have the capacity to do a thorough job at the end of the day; they need our cooperation at this moment not distractions from self-acclaimed ethnic bigots who never mean well for the nation.
The threat by some lawmakers in the Jigawa State House of Assembly to drag Abia State government to court if some of its citizens among the 486 Boko Haram suspects are not released to say the least is laughable and diversionary. Their utterances showed that they are lawbreakers and not lawmakers. Instead of the lawmakers to praise the Abia State government for providing the security agencies the enabling environment to discharge their constitutional duties they are busy chasing shadows. We challenge the Jigawa lawmakers to come to Abia to understudy how the robust synergy and relationship existing between the executive and State House of Assembly have ensured the atmosphere of peace and tranquility being experienced in the state today. Abia State government has not breached any law so we are not afraid of any law suit coming from the Jigawa lawmakers or any other group. The Jigawa lawmakers should come to Abia to be coached on the business of lawmaking. The difference is clear to all.
We implore the Jigawa lawmakers, the Arewa Consultative Forum, some individuals and groups of northern extraction trivializing the arrest of the 486 Boko Haram suspects in Abia, to channel their energies on things that will promote the unity of Nigeria not on things that will destroy the corporate existence of the country. All should join hands with the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
Chief Press Secretary.