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Hardship: S’east has no moral justification to protest — Umahi


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Former governor of Ebonyi State and Minister of Works, Mr David Umahi has said residents of the Southeast have no reason to join other regions to protest against President Bola Tinubu’s administration over the current economic hardship in the country.

Umahi said President Tinubu has ended the region’s ongoing farmer/herder clashes.

According to him, such fights aggravated the region’s insecurity and food production, resulting in widespread famine.

Senator Umahi said this while speaking to newsmen in his hometown of Uburu, Ohaozara local government area of Ebonyi State.

Umahi explained that the high cost of living in the country was the cumulative effect of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions and inactions, which Tinubu has started addressing through policies and programmes.

The minister said Tinubu’s administration favoured the Southeast greatly through appointments to key positions, including himself, the first Minister of Works from the Southeast.

He said the administration has been executing many projects in the region, adding that with all these, the Southeast has no moral justification to join individuals protesting against the President over the high cost of living.

Umahi urged residents of the region not to be cajoled by any group or other regions to join any protest against the President.

“The present hunger that everybody is talking about didn’t start today. It’s a built-up to a number of factors. Before the past administration and present administration, we had been having a build-up of insecurity. We had farmers/herders clashes over a number of years…

“At a time, I was the Chairman of NEC committee on resolving farmers/herders clashes. So, I went through a number of states, especially the northern states, settling the farmers/herders clashes, and it yielded a number of fruits.

“That problem dealt a huge blow to food production. The issue of kidnapping and the issue of insecurity prevented farmers from going to their farms because here we are talking about hunger.

“And so, you expect the administration of President Tinubu to fix all those things within nine months? It’s not possible. It’s a cumulative effect of the past, like I have mentioned. We should be asking ourselves: how do we solve these problems? That’s what the President has started doing. When something has got to the climax, you don’t expect to resolve it overnight.

“If you check very well, especially in the Southeast, you will know that we no longer have incessant farmers/herders clashes. So, why should we join the protest when the President has solved our major problem? The problem we now have in the Southeast is self-inflicted. That is the issue of unknown but known gunmen.

“So, if we are protesting, who are we protesting against? We are protesting against a President that has solved herders/farmers clashes. If you remove the issue of unknown gunmen, the Southeast will be completely safe and farmers can work. So, we can’t go and join anybody to protest.

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