Following the mayhem repeatedly unleashed on the state this week by hoodlums suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which led to the death of security agents and civilians, including the burning of police stations, Ebonyi state governor, Engr. David Umahi, has continued to woo youths in the state.
During a courtesy call on the governor Wednesday in Abakaliki by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Celestine Okoye, Umahi announced that the state has set aside N2.6 billion for 2,600 youths drawn from the 13 local government areas of the state.
Umahi explained that there is an urgent need for the youths to be economically empowered to steer off every form of violence which is why called for a roundtable dialogue to know the youth’s expectations of his administration.
The governor further stated that empowerment will go a long way in giving the youth sound economic footing “because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
Governor Umahi also appealed for peace and ceasefire, while explaining his readiness to rehabilitate the youths, “who have gone the wrong way of looting, killing and destroying government property in the state”, even as he urged all to join the onerous task of building the state for greater economic growth, development and prosperity.
He said: “My position as the governor of Ebonyi state is that, whether you are IPOB, militant, criminal or a cultist, I have put down the SME fund, the loan we got from the CBN, to give to you and that is N2.6bn. That will be for 200 people per LGA.
“Again and again, I call on the youth: the good, the bad, the ugly; we have N2.6bn. We want the local government chairmen and the coordinators to help us identify these 200 people. It is not when we ask you to do this then you will go and write to your brothers and sisters that are working or on government appointments. We need to take 200 youths off the street.
“So, we believe we can rehabilitate these people, retrain them and then get them something. It is an olive branch, which I am offering to them. The good ones and the bad ones can also benefit from it.”