Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Thursday assured angry youths that the South-East governors would join their agitation if the reasons for such protest were not addressed after six months.
Umahi gave this assurance while participating in the Presidential Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He, however, requested that youths against the region’s marginalisation should forward their grievances.
The governor urged them to grant their governors six months to discuss with the Federal Government.
The governor said, “I have done stakeholders’ meetings in the 13 Local Government Areas; I have done seven-day prayers.
“I have deployed the widows to fast and pray; I have deployed the elders’ council to go round and talk to our people. I have deployed founding fathers to go and talk.
“All these talks are getting results. Some of the bad boys are pulling out and surrendering to us and they are giving us information.
“But my position is that these people are our children. It does not please me. I’m trying to let them know that what they are agitating for can be solved through dialogue. We are calling on our youths to submit their demands to us. We will come to the centre and submit them.
“If in the next six months, we have not substantially addressed them, we can join you in the agitation. But right now, we won’t support you to insult the President, leaders of the South-East and other leaders. That is not agitation; that is foolishness. Agitation is agitation.”
Umahi said in addressing marginalisation and exclusion from the affairs of the nation, wisdom has to be applied.
He described IPOB as “a child of necessity,” adding that the same organisation had now birthed the Eastern Security Network.
The governor added, “You can see how this has multiplied. But the point remains that from the onset of matter, the past governments did not address the matter properly because when your children cry for any reason, you have to find out what the problem is, what the reasons are and then fix it.”