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AK-47, Other Weapons Important For Fulani Herdsmen, Bauchi Governor Says

   Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Kaura

Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed, says it is required that Fulani herdsmen use AK-47 and other weapons to defend themselves against cattle rustlers as the “society and government failed to protect them.”

Mr. Mohammed said this in his keynote address at the closing ceremony of the 2021 Press Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Bauchi State Council.

He said his counterparts in the South-West and South-East took the wrong approach in tackling the ongoing herders-farmers clashes.

Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on January 18, gave Fulani herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the state’s forest reserves.

While condemning the quit notice issued to the herdsmen in some states, the governor said it was the constitutional right of every citizen to reside wherever they want.

Mr. Mohammed also berated Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, who had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of partiality and called on the federal government to give citizens gun licences.

“The person that is most wrong is the Governor of Benue State. He started all this. If you don’t accommodate other tribes, we are also accommodating your people in Bauchi and other places,” the governor argued.

“We have so many Tiv people working and farming in Alkaleri, farming in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro local government areas of Bauchi. Has anyone asked them to go? We have not because it is their constitutional right to be there.
The governor stated that the Fulani were exposed to the dangers of the forests, orchestrated by animals and cattle rustlers who rob them of their cows and kill them, adding that a herdsman has “no option than to defend himself because the society and the government are not protecting him.”

He added that the government should rather be blamed for failing to protect the Fulani while maintaining that there are criminals in every tribe, and as such, the herdsmen should not all be criminalised.

However, the governor failed to answer a question on whether nomadic pastoralists should linger in current days, despite the insecurity it poses.

In past years, herdsmen flood some villages with the sole aim of occupying them for their business. They attacked Bachama settlers in Adamawa, Tiv, and Idoma settlers in Taraba, Benue, and Kogi.

The herdsmen, based on the need for water to graze their livestock occupy communities with rivers, most especially the Benue river where there have been reports of them attacking close villages, burning several houses, huts, and farmlands.

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