Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has advised his fellow leaders to focus on solving the problems they created for the present day Nigeria rather than talking about 2023 elections.
Umahi bared his mind on Friday while commissioning the second batch of vehicles purchased for distribution to relevant groups and persons in the State.
The vehicles, numbering 60, comprised of 40 Toyota Sienna buses and 20 Toyota Hilux Vans, for security outfits in the State.
Umahi, who adopted the occasion to comment on the State of the nation accused Nigeria leaders of being responsible for the many problem plaguing the country.
According to him, Nigeria leaders have mortgaged the future of the nation and its youths through long years of citizens exclusion in governance, economic rascality and mismanagement.
He called on leaders at all levels to make amends through dialogue, youth engagement and responsible governance, adding that the available resources in the country can build the Nigeria nation of our dream.
Umahi said: “Let me digress a little to talk about the nation.
“Our nation is so much on a cross road, and this is the time that all leaders must take responsibility
“I was shocked when people are announcing the date for 2023 elections.
“It is very unfortunate that people are talking about elections now.
“The nation is quite challenged now, and it’s not a matter of Mr. President or the Governor.
“All leaders must take responsibility at this stage.
“It is not what we preach in public that is the issue, but when we are confronted with a decision, do we secure the future of our children?
“These problems we are into is because we leaders fail to secure the future of our children, and we still have not changed.
“This is the time to have a rethink; the resources of this nation can build this nation.
“It is not about EFCC or ICPC.
“It is you and God.
“And that is the problem of this country.
“What do we do with the public resources given to us?”
The Governor, also Chairman of South East Governors Forum, decried the high level of bitterness in the country, which, according to him, spared no region.
Umahi regretted that the leaders had failed to engage citizens from the onset, which made the situation to degenerate to this alarming level, and insisted that the solution to banditry, other insecurity problems as well as violent agitations rests on the leaders.
He added: “And I continue to maintain that there is no segment of Nigeria that is not bitter with itself or bitter with another region or bitter with government, and this is the time to forget whether you are banned.
“It’s a time to engage the good people that know the bad people and discuss.
“We must not continue to pretend that all is well.
“All is not well and it is not the issue of a political party for it is beyond political party.
“If we had engaged from the beginning, we will not be where we are now.
“Our youths are angry.
“The resources of our nation is the responsibility of all leaders to deploy rightly.
“I don’t believe that we are doing that.
“So, let’s forget about 2023 and mend fences and let leaders of this country begin to mind their words.
“It is not the North versus the South, but the important thing is that there is a problem, and we have to solve the problem.
“We can’t continue to ignore the agitations of all the regions of this country.
“We have to sit down and discuss; we have to mend our ways; we have to build back in love, unity and sincerity.”
Umahi, who appreciated the State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and others who have been involved in engineering peace in the State, taunted those who castigate President Muhammadu Buhari, describing them as people seeking cheap popularity.
He noted that the CAN in collaboration with the South East Governors would identify all aggrieved youths with aim of engaging with them, maintaining that most of their demands were legitimate which calls for dialogue.
He said: “I have asked my government officials and the CAN to seek out these bandits.
“I want to discuss with them.
“I want to empower them.
“We cannot continue to kill ourselves.
“It pains me when either the security agents or any of our children is killed.
“But we can make peace, whatever their grievances.”
Delivering an opening remark, the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, noted that the vehicles were the second batch of 100 sienna and 40 Hilux Vans approved by the Governor to advance security and empowerment in the State.
Ugbala praised Umahi’s love for the security of citizens and other residents of the state, describing him as a proactive leader.