Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has said those responsible for the rising insecurity in the South East are indigenes of the region and not foreigners.
He said the unknown gunmen as often described are not really unknown gunmen, they are our young men and women.
The governor said it on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily but commended the security agencies in the state for their conduct in the face of provocation and attacks on government facilities.
"When you have infested firewood, the ants will definitely come over there," he said
Umahi added, "Let our people come out to speak out that the unknown gunmen are not really unknown gunmen, they are our young men and women who will defend our land tomorrow; they should stop giving themselves to be killed."
"Let our people stop confronting the security agencies. Without burning properties of the government, there will be no need for the deployment of security operatives and when they are deployed, you cannot tell them how to do the job when they are confronted with death.
"A lot of them have lost their lives; they have families. We have to also know that the lives of the security operatives are the lives of our brothers and sisters, we are killing ourselves and it should stop.
"People are being brainwashed – they don't even know what they are agitating for."