Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has charged the Ebira people of Kogi State living in Ondo State to flush out criminals among them.
The governor urged them to join hands with the State government in ridding the State of crime.
Governor Akeredolu, who stressed that the Ebira people have lived together with the indigenes of the State for too long, charged them not to deviate from their farming trade.
The governor spoke 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.
They were led by the Odeyani Anabira, Zubair Dan Musa and Alhaji Chief Abdulazeez Majeobaje Akure, state chairman of Ebira people.
The deputy governor of the State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 17, Mr Yusuf Mohammed Akeera; Heads of security agencies, members of the State Executive Council, and chairmen of the six local government areas in Ondo North senatorial district of the State, were in attendance.
Addressing reporters shortly after the closed-door meeting, Governor Akeredolu informed that the meeting was summoned in the light of the recent developments regarding the June 5 terrorist attack in Owo town and other kidnapping cases in the State.
He disclosed that the leaders of the Ebira Community have been urged to rid themselves of criminals and 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.
“I also have received a letter from Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, that is the leader of Ebira in the world, commiserating again and expressing his embarrassment on what happened.
“So, we leave here today with the belief that our brothers, Ebira 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.
“They have assured us they would do that and we want to call on our people that at least, let us continue with our brotherliness and maintain the good relationship we have had with them in the past.
“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,” Akeredolu stated.