Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi has announced that he has tabled 2.6bn naira for over 2600 youths drawn from the 13 council areas of the state.
Governor Umahi made the announcement on Wednesday at the New Government House, Ochudo Centenary City, Abakaliki during a courtesy call on the governor by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Celestine Okoye.
The event was also aimed at tightening security loose ends in the area in the wake of police station attack in Ezza North Council Area of the State yesterday.
He explained that there is an urgent need for the youths to be economically empowered to steer off every form of violence which is why he has called for a roundtable dialogue to know exactly what the youth expect of his administration.
The governor further stated that the empowerment will go a long way in giving the youth sound economic footing because an “idle man” is in popular parlance, “a 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. He urged all to join the onerous tasks of building the state for greater economic growth, development and prosperity.
“My position as the Governor of Ebonyi State is that whether you are IPOB, militants, criminal, or a cultist, I have put down the SME fund, the loan we got from the CBN to give it to you and that is 2.6bn. That will be for 200 people per LGA.
“Again and again, I call on the youths, the good, the bad, the ugly, we have 2.6bn. We want the local government chairmen, the coordinators; let us identify these 200 people. Not when we ask you to do these, you go and write your brothers and sisters that are working or on government appointment. We need to take off 200 youths from the street. “So, we believe we can rehabilitate these people, retrain them and then get them something doing. It is an olive branch which I am offering to them. The good ones and the bad ones can also benefit from it”.
Governor Umahi tasked the Council Area bosses to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous act within the next 7 days and bring them to him for possible amnesty; “I have called the three Local Government Chairmen and the Coordinators to task you, the people that came to destroy us are from these three local government areas. They have shown themselves. Some of them that have bullet wounds have also confessed. So, I have called you to demand that you bring them to me. I am going to be giving you seven days to bring them to me and there will be no excuses.
“Two ways we can approach it; if you bring them, I can show them amnesty and rehabilitate them but if you don’t bring them, I will fish them out of the forest.”