Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
Following the lingering controversies surrounding the alleged proposal by the Miyetti Allah to organise local vigilance groups in the South-east region to curtail menace of crime, the South-east Governors Forum has denied ever being ready to allow such suggestions come to fruition.
The Chairman of the South-east Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, described the allegation that the governors would allow MACBAN to form vigilance group as strange.
Umahi said: “I find it extremely strange for anybody to think that non-locals in any part of the country, including South east, could be allowed to form any vigilance outfit . The Miyetti Allah group may have made that suggestion which I believe will never mean to form a vigilance group in the region, no governor will allow that.
“South-east governors have their local vigilante group working with security agencies. Any such demand by Miyetti Allah group is a joke and not acceptable. Governors of Southeast are doing their best, and we have no problems receiving insults from our people. It’s the price for leadership. The important thing for us is the safety and well-beings of our people. O’dua Peoples Congress (OPC) and other pressure groups may not have found it fashionable to insult their leaders even when their leaders may not be saints.
“My task is to develop Ebonyi State, contribute in rebuilding South-east region and Nigeria. My calling is not to insult others for me to do these things. Have we been fairly treated? No. Can we solve the problem with hate speeches? For me, no. Nobody, no matter the level of pretense, can change my style of peaceful leadership. Ebonyi State in particular has suffered so much even in the context of Southeast. We believe that we do not need hate speeches as a strategy to solve our problems.”
The governors stressed that there won’t be any Miyetti Allah vigilante, cattle ranch or colony in the Southeast, but they must live peacefully with herdsmen that do not destroy their farm land especially those who were born in the region and have lived peacefully with them.