From SAMSON AKPU, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has said that some hoodlums are hiding under the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to unleash mayhem on the people of the State.
Umahi who spoke yesterday in a statewide broadcast, said his administration had done well to offer good governance, and didn’t deserve such treatment.
Umahi, however, appealed to the hoodlums launching attacks on Ebonyi State to ceasefire, promising to make amends where the government had failed, with their inputs.
He announced that his administration had set aside N2.6bn to empower the youths.
“Our young children who are hiding under IPOB to kill us, we do not deserve it; our government has done its best to give you good governance. Where we have failed as human beings, I here again offer my apologies with a firm offer and promise to make amends with your inputs,” Umahi declared.
“I plead with these young hoodlums killing us in the name of IPOB to withdraw peacefully to their houses. Security agencies must please give them peace to do so. They must be allowed free access to return to their communities.
“I have today set aside the sum of 2.6bn SME fund for organized youths cooperatives in all the Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State. Let us dialogue on how you could benefit from it. This is aside from the over 100 Executive Council members, over 1100 TAs and over 2000 Ebonyians who occupy political positions in the State of which 90 per cent of those who occupy this political position are youth and over 30 per cent of them are also women,” Umahi said.
The Governor explained that the hoodlums that attacked the State on Monday, in the name of IPOB, came from a particular village in the state, adding that “we know these people; we know their fathers; (it’s) the same people that abducted some policemen who were on peace mission in their community sometime last year even though the policemen were later released by my intervention.”
“I have offered details here so that you may know we know you very well and you are responsible for the killing and looting in your State using the cover of IPOB. I refuse to buy into this, as a criminal is a criminal and criminality is criminality,” Umahi added.
He however, noted, that the hoodlums that attacked the State on Tuesday, the 20th of October, 2020, and destroyed infrastructure came from outside.
He also apologized to the Ebonyi people for the crippling of the State by the hoodlums, even as he condoled with the families of those injured or killed including security agents during the attack.
“I will compensate all families whose loved ones were either injured or killed during this unfortunate period, whether security agencies or civilians or even these hoodlums,” he added.
Umahi further said: “I, therefore, appreciate our security agencies for their maturity and listening ear to me yesterday not to retaliate.
“However, it is unconventional for people to invade a police station, burn the police station, kill the police people and take their guns.
“It is uncommon for you to attack the army who were protecting you, strategic government assets too and yet they remain unprovoked. Security agencies in the State have asked me to please plead with you to stop attacking them and burning their stations.
“Let me assure Ebonyians that more security agencies were deployed from outside the state last night and they have been deployed to protect you.
“Social-economic activities in Ebonyi State must return now, go about your normal businesses in peace.”
Meanwhile, Governor Umahi has denied that his government was hoarding palliatives meant for the people.
Umahi who stated this in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, said: “The little one left now is left for our Ebonyi State University Students who were not in session.”
He said his administration spent billions of naira in buying palliatives for the people of the state, adding that the palliatives were shared across political party lines in all the polling units in the state.
He said: “On palliatives, we have shared all palliatives we bought for our people. You are aware that we spent billions buying palliatives, which we shared to you, polling unit by polling unit irrespective of political alliances.
“We reached over 600,000 Ebonyians including those in Lagos and Abuja, the little one left now is left for our Ebonyi State University Students who were not in session.
“School has resumed; they have started carrying their items, the only items left are being taken now by students and they are 50 bags of just 10kg rice, 200 bags of 20kg rice 1,500 cartons of tin tomatoes, 2000 gallons of oil, 2000 cartons of noodles and these items for the students put together is not up to what we gave to polling units,” Umahi explained, stressing
“We do not have any palliatives unshared. We have gone ahead with both the state and local governments to make provision for the second phase of palliative slated for December for our people.
“We have stood with our people in this trying period notwithstanding our meager resources.
“We are working on how to assist our parents to ensure our students go back to school by reducing school fees, but you must know that there is opportunity cost, when one is done, another one may not be done because of our meager resources.
“I, therefore, ask Ebonyians to go back to their normal activities while I offer my heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their lives, property and wounded.
“I call on all youths, whether good or bad to dialogue with my government and make their inputs in governance.
“We have done a lot in our empowerment programme including the One Man, One Hectare of Land, which over 2000 youths are participating.
“I again plead with our young ones, please, no more attacks, no more destruction of our common asset, no more killing us, killing you or even security agencies.”