Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has claimed that killings in the South East region of the country are being perpetrated by indigenes.
Umahi stated this while debunking claims that perpetrators of attacks and killings in the region are outsiders.
He said the attacks on government properties, the killing of innocent people and security agents, were done out by youths of the region.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Governor said: “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 criminals, Umahi said:“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.”