Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has said that the growing insecurity in the South-East is politically motivated.
He, however, debunked insinuations in some quarters that foreigners are masterming the menace.
An Anambra State lawmaker, Okechukwu Okoye was at the weekend beheaded by gunmen.
Also, a mother and four of her children were also killed during the weekend by gunmen in the same state.
Umahi, featuring on ChannelsTelevision’s Sunday Politics, decried the situation in South-East that use to be one of the most peaceful state in the country.
He said, “We did not have this large scale of insecurity until I defected (to the APC from PDP).
“In my state, there was a time that the insecurity was highly politically-motivated and the targets were Imo State, APC, and Ebonyi State the moment I defected,”
Umahi said that the spate of insecurity would have been worse in Nigeria and the South East, if not for the way President Muhammadu Buhari handled the challenge.
He said, “Well, you see, the security situation in the country, as I have always told people, that if we did not have the kind of President that is very humane and not vindictive, nobody knows where Nigeria would have been by now.
“So, he (Buhari) has helped us tremendously in the security of the South East.
“What I call bandits are people that are engaged in violence and our people, South East people; the youths, some of them are also in this category.
“When people tend to say the insecurity in the Southeast is imported, I don’t buy that because I am a governor and get security reports. We have arrested a number of these people and it should be about five or ten percent of the people outside the South East.
“So, you cannot say when you have up to 90 percent of our youths that are engaged in this thing and you say we are being infiltrated by others.”
He added that comments by politicians also contribute to the insecurity in the region and urged politicians to be mindful of what they say.
“There are certain statements that we make as leaders that tend to elevate this insecurity,” Umahi said.
On how to tackle the menace, he said one of the ways is for the government to create jobs as well as provide infrastructure.