…Agitation, killings by herdsmen heightened insecurity in South-East
By Olayinka Ajayi
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi has insisted that killings in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria is being fueled by misguided comments of desperate politicians that want power at all cost.
Speaking in a monitored programme on Channels Television, ‘Politics Today’ ,Thursday night, the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum stressed that there is complexity in the case of insecurity in the South-East.
“Before now, there was agitation by young men. The agitation is that we are not being fairly treated with the committee of States in Nigeria and this agitation is headed by Nnamdi Kanu. The agitation was growing before we now have the problem of foreign herdsmen that invaded South-East and the combination of the agitation and the killings by the herdsmen in South-East heightened the insecurity in South-East.
“We now have a situation in which cultists and armed robbers have all joined and when they commit crime, they will say it is Indigenous People Of Biafra ,IPOB. We know that a number of them commit these crimes, when they are apprehended, we find out that they are not IPOB but pure armed robbers and criminals. We have caught some of them. So it’s a mixture of criminality, banditry, and abandonment. Some of them confessed that they went into crime because of neglect. The issue is that we had a couple of communal clashes in my state which is not political but is being fueled by political interest. The killings are not politically motivated but are being fueled by misguided comments of desperate politicians that want power at all cost” Umahi said.
Adding that; “The youths have their grievance, they have their reasons for going into crime. I do not advocate for anybody to go into crime. But hunger breeds anger, and anger, breeds bitterness. So, I see young men and women who are bitter with the system.
“I have done #ENDSARS conference, and set out to empower many of the youths. I am advocating that these youths that are taking arms should come out, I want to discourse with them and integrate them into society because some of their reasons for going into crime may be genuine. But nothing should push a man to carry a gun to kill another person”.
Asked on the number of jobs he engaged youths in Ebonyi, he said: “We have made every part of Ebonyi a construction site. We have built roads… we have built roads to the point that there is no place you are in Ebonyi that you will not access the state capital within 30 to 45 minutes. Doing these, I have engaged the youths, the women , we have done most of our jobs by direct labour. I am also engaging them in solid minerals and agriculture. In Ebonyi, only a lazy person who doesn’t like to work will complain of hunger”.