EBONYI State Governor and Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, on Sunday, said governors of the region were currently hiding their faces in shame.
Umahi stated that the herdsmen they (South-East governors) fought hard to protect were the ones killing the people.
The governor made these remarks in Abakaliki, the state capital, when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo paid a condolence visit to the state on Sunday.
Umahi said, “Even when the killings happened; very unprovoked killings, some people said they gave the governor of Ebonyi State 21 days to resign. We have been called all kinds of names and we feel ashamed that the same people we fight for day and night as governors and leaders of South-East to ensure the oneness of this country would know about attacks on Ebonyi State and they were asked to leave and they left, and we were slaughtered and killed.
“What face do we have then to face our people? We feel so ashamed to face our people. When this thing happened, Your Excellency, there was going to be very violent retaliation. But I thank God for the leaders of this state. I thank God for CAN, the youths and traditional rulers.
“We immediately called for a stakeholders’ meeting and reached an agreement and said for the interest of this country, there would be no retaliation. But we are happy that you (Osinbajo) have a document that has been given to you.
“We are not saying it shouldn’t be investigated, but that document is information that came from the phone of the murderers and that’s what the community printed out and handed over to you. We demand a proper investigation.”
Umahi said three communities of Obeagu, Egedegede and Amaizu in the Ishielu Council area and the Effium community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, needed the sum of N5bn from the Federal Government to rebuild their homes and resettle.
Umahi added, “We demand that justice be given to the victims. This is the agreement and this is the promise I made to the people of Ebonyi State during our extra ordinary meeting on how to calm the situation.
“But it is also very annoying that herdsmen in other parts of the state are being asked to quit because they want to attack again. This is one attack that must not be attempted. This is because as the chief security officer, I’m to report to the Federal Government, I may not be able to control it.
“Let this madness stop. No one has the monopoly of violence, but we assure the Federal Government that there will be no retaliation, believing that justice will be done. This is because what was provided this afternoon by way of information is good enough to unravel what happened to us.
“We plead with the Federal Government to assist the people of Egedegede with the sum of N2bn so that they rebuild their homes and settle down.
“On the unfortunate killings in Effium community, we are equally pleading with the Federal Government to assist the people with the sum of N3bn, so that they can rebuild their homes.”
200 police, soldiers deployed in Ebonyi community
Meanwhile, the Federal Government said it had deployed 200 police and soldiers in the troubled Effium community in the Ohaukwu council area and the Egedegede, Obeagu and Nkaleha communities of Ishielu Local Government Area of the state to address the security crisis.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Sunday in Abakaliki and assured the people that justice would be served in the case of persons, who were recently killed by assailants in the Ishielu council area of the state.
He said, “There are times when incident like this happens, when people are killed and you feel particularly outraged about what has happened. Over 200 police and army men have been deployed to those communities. We’ll do all we can to bring justice to the people.”