The Ebonyi State Government said it is ready to offer amnesty to bandits and other criminals terrorising the state, if they are willing to repent and lay down their arms for peace.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Uchenna Orji, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Friday.

Mr Orji said Governor Dave Umahi was committed to the protection of lives and property of residents of the state and would use any legitimate means to achieve it.

He said that repentant hoodlums and all those who engaged in criminal activities in the state would be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.

“The governor’s take is that of amnesty and offering the olive branch to them.

“So, if they can surrender and lay down their arms, the government is ready to get them profiled, rehabilitated and engaged in life transforming empowerment programmes.

“The #EndSARS N3 billion empowerment programme is not only for those who were involved in the protest. It is also for idle youths and women.

“If this category of people can remember God, humanity and the wonderful strides, selfless and passionate work of our governor, I can tell you that he will develop a programme that will give an immediate intervention,” Mr Orji said.

He said the idea was to ensure that every hoodlum was rehabilitated and reintegrated with their families and communities and not molested.

He said the security meetings convened recently by the governor were designed to find a solution to the increasing security challenges plaguing the state.

“The engagement is also aimed at enhancing effective policing of our communities in order to ensure timely alert about security threats and breaches to relevant agencies,” he said.

The commissioner said available security reports showed that most of the bandits come from communities within the state.

“The truth is that these bandits and hoodlums are not totally outsiders.

“From the history of those already arrested, we have a lot of engagement to do with some of our youths, who have been involved in banditry in the state,” he said.

(NAN)

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