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Declaration of South-East as ‘red zone’ will stall development – Umahi

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The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, on Tuesday, decried the declaration of the South-East as a “red zone” due to worsening insecurity in the region.

Umahi, who addressed journalists during the inauguration of the new leadership of the South-East Traditional Rulers’ Council headed by Eze Charles Mkpuma in Abakaliki, said such declaration would deprive the region of federal projects.

He said some Federal Government’s ministries recently declared the South-East as a red zone because of insecurity triggered by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other self-determination groups in the region.

The governor stressed that agitation for secession had been hijacked by cultists, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the region.

IPOB had in July ordered a sit-at-home in five states in the South-East in a bid to force the federal government to release detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

READ ALSO: IPOB vows total shutdown of South-East if Nigerian govt fails to produce Kanu in next hearing

Criminal groups had since the beginning of the year killed several security agents and destroyed public facilities including police stations and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in the South-East.

Umahi said: “The declaration of South-East as a red zone by these ministries means that what is due to us would be difficult to come.

“It is time for the zone’s leaders and people to collectively say no to the killings in the zone because we no longer see the real agenda of the agitations.

“The people should support governors from the zone and other leaders to permanently stop this bloodshed because we know the parents and communities of the perpetrators of the heinous acts.

“It is presently difficult for trucks with goods from other parts of the country to come to the zone as we did not harmonise adequately to determine areas of comparative advantage.”

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