T0P ST0RY: Dave Umahi Reveals How He Knew That Unknown Gunmen Are South East Indigenes
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi has debunked claims that killings in the South Eastern part of Nigeria are being perpetrated by outsiders.
Umahi said the attacks on strategic infrastructure, the killing of innocent people and security agents, were carried out by youths of the South-East.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Governor recalled how he adopted a bottom-top approach to find solutions to insecurity in Ebonyi.
He stated that his government had engaged the traditional rulers, the political class and the bandits.
“We engaged with some of the bandits, we made contacts with some of them. We had to say, what is your problem? If it is infrastructure, we have done that, if it is jobs creation, we have addressed that through direct labour.
“The bandits are angry about lack of what to do, and we said to them that if your only trouble is that you didn’t have formal education, there is no job for you to do, we put them together and said, if you will stop attacks on our strategic infrastructure, killing of our people and attack on security agencies, we can rehabilitate you. So, we have rehabilitated a number of them. We even have to move from State to State, especially in the South-East and said, ‘if you don’t have means of livelihood in those states, please come back home. We’ll be able to engage you.’”
Asked to mention the tribe of the bandits and the language they speak, Umahi retorted:
“People tend to be funny at times when they say that we have been invaded by outsiders; but it is not true. We have people from other regions that are in the South East. There’s no tribe that doesn’t have criminality. I wouldn’t say some of these people from other tribes don’t engage in criminality.
“What I call bandits are people that engage in violence; and they are our people, South-East people, the youths, some of them are in this category. So, when people say insecurity in the South-East is being imported, I do not buy that. Because I am a Governor, I do security reports. We have arrested a number of these people, and it should be that they are about five or 14 per-cent of those outside the South-East. If we have 90 per cent of our youths engaging in these things, you cannot say the South-East is being infiltrated.”
Umahi said the tension in the South-East would be doused if he emerged the next President of Nigeria.