Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, believes those responsible for the rising security challenges in the South East are not foreigners.
He stated that they were indigenes of the region, especially the young people who should protect the interest of the South East as future leaders.
“When you have infested firewood, the ants will definitely come over there,” the governor said on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He added, “Let our people come out to speak out that the unknown gunmen are not really unknown gunmen, they are our young men and women who will defend our land tomorrow; they should stop giving themselves to be killed.”
Governor Umahi, however, commended the security agencies in Ebonyi for their conduct in the face of provocation and attacks on government facilities.
He noted that the security agencies have yet to go after the perpetrators, as they were tied with protecting the facilities from further attacks.
The governor decried the killing of some of the security operatives in the line of duty and defended them for returning ‘fire for fire’ as a means to defend themselves.
He stressed that the people of the South East were not known for criminal actions and such were beyond the Igbo culture.
Governor Umahi lamented that he had done everything necessary to enlighten the youths and discourage them from engaging in criminal activities.
“Let our people stop confronting the security agencies. Without burning properties of the government, there will be no need for the deployment of security operatives and when they are deployed, you cannot tell them how to do the job when they are confronted with death.
“A lot of them have lost their lives; they have families. We have to also know that the lives of the security operatives are the lives of our brothers and sisters, we are killing ourselves and it should stop,” he said.
According to the governor, a majority of the youth do not know the cause they are fighting for and the insecurity in the region can be attributed to three factors.
“People are being brainwashed – they don’t even know what they are agitating for,” he stated as the first factor.
Highlighting the other factors, Governor Umahi said, “There are people who go to talismen to get all kinds of juju (charms) that no gun can kill them and yet, guns are killing them, then you have the hard drugs; these are the three factors destroying our land.”