Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi, said those observing sit-at-home order of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East despite its suspension were because of fear.
He warned that the trend was a grave threat to the economy of the region. The governor stated this while briefing journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
“I think is not more or less complying to the directive of IPOB or no IPOB, suspended or not suspended, it is a question of fear. You know, the easiest thing to do is to carry weapon and kill somebody, and that’s what happened in the past. And that’s why some people in South East are afraid of coming out. Even if you go now to the streets and say that you hold AK-47, you will see that everybody will desert the streets. So it’s not a question of compliance. It’s a question of fear.”
He, however, said there was need for improved security in the South East to allow movement of people, especially for trade and commerce purpose.
“No South East man wants to miss a day of work; they like to work, they are into trade and commerce, and they want to earn their daily living. Security agencies must know that they owe South East people the duty to protect their lives. This is the reason why it appears that in some states there is compliance of the sit-at-home order. But it’s the worst thing to happen because it will destroy the economy of South East.”
He said leaders of the zone in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo were working together on how to address grievances of youths in the region against marginalisation with a view to presenting it to the president.
He also announced that President Muhammadu Buhari would be visiting the state in November to commission over 20 projects comprising roads, medical centres, malls, bridges, among others.
On if he and his counterparts in the region were considering encouraging the two major parties to select their candidates for the 2023 presidential election from the South East, Umahi said it was too early and a distraction to talk about the next election.
“Well, for me, I am very much entrenched in completing my projects. And I will look into politics when my tenure is remaining one year, which is from May 29, 2022. And I think it is the same thing with other governors of South East and by extension, governors of APC. My position about what you ask is that our people that are in those political parties are making the efforts in selling the need for South East to produce the next president. But I think both the governors and Mr. President should not be distracted. With elections done and won, the next thing should be governance.”
The governor also spoke about the relevance of the South East security outfit, Ebubeagu saying, “it’s quite formidable and doing a great job in synergy will all the security agencies. And if you read through the newspapers, you see a lot of exploits that are being done in the South East. It is quite tasking, security wise, and we are tackling it.”
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