The Nigerian Army, yesterday, indicated that it was not in a hurry to free the 486 travellers currently being held for screening in Abia State over the suspicion that they were members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
Director of Army Public Relations, DAPR, Brig-Gen. Olajide Laleye, who disclosed this to Saturday Mirror in Abuja, said that the figure was quite huge for the tedious screening processes which aims to ascertain the true personalities and mission of the suspects.
Troops of the Nigerian Army, 144 battalion in Asa, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, had on Sunday, at about 2 am, intercepted a convoy of 33 buses conveying 486 suspected Boko Haram insurgents from Adamawa state, including eight females between Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along the Enugu- Port Harcourt Expressway.
The troops, doubtful of their integrity and personalities, subsequently detained the suspects for investigation to ascertain the truth about their mass movement which the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, had ordered the continuous screening until it was satisfied.. Consequently, the Army Headquarters, AHQ, said it would take its time to do a thorough screening to avoid hastening to free them and risk the security of the country.
“486, it is not easy to screen 486 people. Some of them will be telling you lies. We need to know where they come from, establish so many things about them. After the exercise, we will tell the public the outcome”, General Laleye said. He urged citizens to be patient with the military in its efforts to rid the country of insecurity and insurgency as this would certainly inconvenience everybody.