Agitation, killings by herdsmen heightened insecurity in the South-East.
By Olayinka Ajayi
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umehi has insisted that the South-Eastern part of Nigeria is being fuelled by misguided comments of desperate politicians that want power at all cost.
Speaking in a monitored programme on Channels Television, ‘Politics Today’ yesterday night, the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum stressed that there is complexity in the case of the insecurity in the South-East.
“Before now, there was an agitation by young men. The agitation is that we are not being fairly treated by 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 the 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 fuelled by political interest. The killings are not politically motivated but are being fuelled 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 #END SARS 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 about 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”.