The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has declared support for the statement credited to Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed supporting the use of AK47 guns by herdsmen.
It will be recalled that Governor Mohammed had submitted that the herdsmen only carry the guns and needed them to defend themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.
He added that the north has over the years accommodated westerners, stressing that Fulani herdsmen have the right to live anywhere as Nigerians.
His submission however attracted a lot of backlashes, criticism, and condemnation even from fellow governors, particularly Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State who both condemned the submission of the Bauchi State Governor.
However, the Miyetti Allah group in its reaction has hailed the Bauchi State Governor for supporting herdsmen on the use of guns.
The group in a statement by its National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan commended Governor Mohammed as a fearless and courageous leader who stood for the truth and is interested in defending the herdsmen against persecution.
The statement titled ‘His Excellency Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed – Executive Governor Bauchi State: The gradual emergence of a courageous northern leader,’ also accused Governors Ortom and Akeredolu of persecuting herdsmen and unleashing terror against them.
Miyetti Allah said: “Bala Mohammed’s intervention on the ongoing farmer/herders’ conflict was simply to state the obvious devoid of the current “politicisation.”
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed Executive Governor of Bauchi State has gradually emerged as the only lone voice among his peers in the North to come out openly in the defense of the Fulani pastoralists that are being persecuted across many states through enactment of negative obnoxious laws against their means of livelihoods and the issuance of illegal eviction notices from their places of abode against the constitutional provisions.”
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has tread where angels are scared to tread in the past. He has taken what every politician will consider as political risk in the past by holding divergent views where others have failed or chicken out. So his current position on the herders /farmers conversation is not strange or out of context.”
“The audacity of H.E Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed strides visible came to limelight when he was elected Senator in April, 2007. Remember “the Doctrine of necessity”, when the then ailing (late) President Umaru ‘Yaradua was incapacitated and the making of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the acting President. This was because he believed in the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria as one indivisible entity where every citizen has equal right and privileges.”
“Despite the loud hues and cries from the dissenting voices across the country and threats from then cabals that whore holding sway at the villa he did not bucked. He did it out of conviction and to douse the rising tension in the country then. He was never scared nor intimidated of speaking the truth.”
“And it is our belief that Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed should be applauded for providing this kind of purposeful leadership particularly to the north at these very trying moments in our nation’s history.”
“Those attempting to silence him are only undertaking an exercise in futility as the majority of the northern masses, particularly the pastoralists that have seen a leader and savior at this critical times are solidly behind him.”
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has refused to be like Governor of Benue State, H.E Samuel Ortom whose only achievement is the rising of ethnic militia and gang leaders that have been visiting mayhem of killings in his state. Whose only evidences of dividends of democracy to his impoverished citizens is the creation of obnoxious anti-grazing laws.”
“He (Bala Mohammed)has refused to be like Governor of Ondo State H.E Rotimi Akeredolu who is a Senior lawyer (SAN) but has proved to be a disgrace to the legal profession.”
“Akeredolu after creating an ethnic militia (Amotekun) that is now unleashing terror and mayhem on innocent herders and northerners living in the south-west against unconstitutional and blanket eviction notices for herders to vacate places where their livelihoods.”
“Akeredolu will be held accountable for the ongoing genocide against innocent pastoralists and northerners living in the southwest,” they alleged.
Meanwhile, the Pan-Yoruba Socio-political organization, Afenifere, on Thursday condemned President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over the statement made by the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, that Nigerians should defend themselves against bandits.
The spokesperson of the group, Yinka Odumakin, during an interview with Punch, said the statement of Magashi showed that Buhari has failed in its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and properties of citizens.
Recall that the Minister of Defence on Wednesday said, “It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards.”