Defence & Security

Flush out criminals among you, Akeredolu charges Ebira leaders

By Friday Omosola, Akure

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has warned Ebiras living in Ondo to flush out criminals among them and join hands with the government in ridding the state of crime.

This is coming after Ebiras were named among the attackers of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa in Owo, Local Government by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, in Abuja, last week.

Governor Akeredolu stressed that the Ebira people have lived together with the indigenes of the State for too long, charging them not to deviate from the farming trade. Akeredolu stated this on Saturday at a meeting with the leaders of the Ebira Community in the State at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure. He said the meeting was summoned in the light of the recent development of the June 5 attack in Owo and other kidnapping cases in the State urging the leaders of the Ebira Community to deal with the situation in the best way, to protect their name and integrity in the State.

“We summoned this meeting with our brothers. They are not new here but because of the recent developments that have to do with the Owo massacre and kidnappings, we have to call ourselves. I can assure you all that we have had a very frank discussion with ourselves and the leader of the Ebiras in Ondo State spoke on behalf of Ebiras and a few other persons.

“It is clear that the message from us to them is well understood and we have assurance from the Ebiras who are living in Ondo State that they would cooperate with the security agencies and that the incident in Owo was something that they felt very bad about.”

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Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, disclosed that he received a letter of commiseration and expression of embarrassment from Ohinoyi of Ebiraland—leader of Ebira in the World— on what happened.

“So, we leave here today with the belief that our brothers, Ebiras, that are here, would at the least work to ensure that there is security in Ondo State and in doing that, we have charged them to discuss with all their people.”

He urged the state citizens to continue with their brotherliness and maintain the good relationship built with Ebiras in the past, adding that they have assured them of good conduct.

“We believe that it is not those who are residing here that came to perpetrate this crime. That is what they have said and we should give them another chance. Let us live together in peace and I hope and pray that the Ebiras who are here in Ondo State will work with the government and security agencies to make sure that criminals are flushed out within our midst and they have our cooperation in whatever way they wish.”

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