Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said Fulani herdsmen carry firearms to protect themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.
Speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the launch of NUJ’s magazine titled ‘Correspondents’ Watch” on Thursday, Bala Mohammed slammed the South-west for refusing to accommodate herdsmen.
The Bauchi governor noted that the north has over the years accommodated westerners, stressing that Fulani herdsmen have the right to live anywhere as Nigerians.
He said ”The west doesn’t want to accommodate other tribes but we are accommodating your tribe in Bauchi. We have Yorubas who have stayed in Bauchi for over150 years, some of them have being made permanent secretaries in Gombe, Bauchi and Borno but because the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of transhumans, pastoralism, he has been exposed to cattle rustlers who carry a gun, kill him and take away his cows he has no option to carry AK 47 because the government and the society are not protecting him. It’s the fault of the government.
”Nobody owns any forests in Nigeria, it’s owned by Nigeria. Under section 23, 24 and 25 of the Constitution, every Nigerian is free to stay anywhere. Anybody can speak how but we are only exercising restraint.
”If cybercrime is being practised mostly by one tribe, you don’t criminalise the whole tribe because of this. That’s why you journalist needs to be sensitive and exercise restraint. Avoid writing reports that will threaten the unity of this country.”
Bala Mohammed also condemned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue for handling the farmers and herdsmen clashes poorly.
”My brother and my colleague Ortom started all this as regards herders clashes with other tribes. That’s why I must commend the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, NGF Solomon Lalong, he is a hero in the promotion of peace despite his diverse and minority background, he put an end to the Incessant fighting between herdsmen and other tribes in Plateau,” he added.