The leader of Muslims in the South-South and the South-East, Alhaji Abubakar Orlu, has said the 320 suspected Boko Haram members, who were arrested on Sunday in Port Harcourt are traders.
But, if still in doubt, the Muslim leader urged the police to carry out a thorough investigation to unravel the real identities of the suspects.
Alhaji Orlu, who made the call yesterday while briefing journalists in Port Harcourt, on the alleged presence of Boko Haram insurgents in the state, did not rule out the possibility of the insurgents entering the state, especially with the current political crisis in the state. He commended the police for their prompt action.
“I am the leader of Muslims in Rivers State, South-South and South-East. Anything concerning Muslims is my own interest and I have to protect them. I am happy for the action taken by the Rivers State police. We cannot determine who is who,” he said.
Orlu believed that police might have acted on intelligence report, adding that he had instructed Muslim leaders in the two regions to monitor unholy activities of any Muslim group or persons in their areas.
“But, my appeal to the Commissioner of Police is for him to investigate and if they are not Boko Haram, they should be released. There is no Boko Haram among them, and I have given order to South-South and South East vice president generals to monitor their states and the presence of Boko Haram. In Rivers State, I have given orders too to monitor them.
“I assure the police that if there is any of them in the state, the person will be handed over to them. Police should do their work because I am not ruling it out. We cannot rule out what the enemies can do. They can start with Rivers State to achieve their aim.
“I know Rivers State is a safe place for the northerners to live, and we cannot allow anybody to tamper with them for no cause. Once again, I am appealing that the arrested persons if they are found not to be Boko Haram, should be released.