Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has said that at least four persons have been killed in various parts of the State following the disbandment of Ebubeagu.
Though the governor did not give details of the killings, he reiterated that the two new vigilante outfits he formed will be empowered to fight crime and criminality.
Umahi stated this at the State International Airport Onueke, near Abakaliki, on Sunday after a Security Council Meeting.
He blamed the recent upsurge in violence which saw various political parties attacked at the weekend to disbandment of Ebubeagu.
According to him, the disbandment have created a lacuna in the security architecture which criminals and hoodlums are exploiting to unleash mayhem.
The governor expressed worry over the upsurge of political violence in the State describing it as unfortunate.
He warned that anyone indicted in this ugly trend among any of the political parties would be dealt with decisively.
He said: “There is no way a governor will allow a state to be boiling or be entertained with violence. It is very unfortunate and desperation is the problem.
“I cannot struggle in this state, and I have discharged my callings. I know very well that I’m loved by Ebonyi people and wherever I asked them to go, they will go there.
“In the first place, I am not into struggle with anybody but this desperation is what is leading to these attacks and counter attacks. And if an APC person is involved, you know I have always cautioned them. And in some cases, I directed some security agencies to arrest them.”
“As we talk today, there are numbers of the vigilante people that are in police custody in the past one year. Some are facing trials and some have been tried.
“I am worried that desperation is leading to some of this violence. Just by mentioning that Ebubeagu was disbanded, we had in the past two days that the judgment was delivered, four persons have been killed because I said that we will obey the court order.”
“Immediately Ebubeagu were disbanded, you can see the effects, we are making everything possible to avoid violence.
“My directives to security agencies, no matter who is involved; PDP, APC, LP or APGA, is that if you infringe on the right of the people, you must be arrested and prosecuted. I don’t need violence to win the elections because we have done very well,” he said
On the issue of prevailing division ravaging the All Progressives Congress /APC at the National Level, Governor Umahi reiterated that it would be resolved since the party was a big family.
Speaking against the backdrop of the threat of non-state actors to disrupt the elections in the South-East states, Umahi restated that the governors were talking to the people to ignore the threat.
“These persons live among us, they live with the people, the villagers and leaders must rise so that there will be elections”
“I fought against the philosophy of IPOB, people should blame themselves, a lot of our religious leaders were preaching, thinking that they were going to populate the number of their congregations
“I warned that these people get into drugs, they get into idolatry, God is against idolatry, you see them fed with the live tortoise, charms, when did the Igbo man start to live in the forest,” he queried?
“Even when the Federal High Court gave judgment against Ebubeagu, IPOB celebrated it, I saw it on social media, it means that it is working with the opposition”
“We have established the new Neighbourhood Vigilantes Group; established in accordance with that of Anambra State, if you attack it, go and attack that of Anambra State,” he said.