Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Friday berated Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State for endorsing the possession of AK-47 by Fulani herdsmen that have been linked to violent crimes across Nigeria.
Governor Ortom in a statement in Makurdi on Friday indicated that while he will not want to join issues with his counterpart, he finds it shocking that a colleague who took the oath of office as he also did, to protect and preserve the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same constitution by calling for lawlessness.
Ortom decried that the most shocking part of Governor Bala Mohammed’s statement was where he defended herdsmen for bearing arms, saying: “they have no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting them”.
Governor Ortom challenged Governor Mohammed to identify the section of the law that empowers or supports herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
Ortom stated: “It was the same Governor Mohammed who once said on national television that a Fulani man is a global citizen and, therefore, does not need a visa to come to Nigeria and that the forests belong to herdsmen.”
Governor Ortom challenged Governor Mohammed to demonstrate he has good knowledge of the horrendous activities of herders in parts of the country, noting: “if the Bauchi governor had the facts, then, he would not continue to put up emotional defences and justification in favour of the armed herdsmen.”
Governor Ortom acquainted Governor Mohammed that Benue indigenes in Bauchi State have been law-abiding and do not carry arms to attack their hosts; he acknowledged that the Fulani and other Nigerians resident in Benue State who respect laws of the land, also live peacefully with their hosts.
Governor Ortom scolded Governor Mohammed that the Benue State government under his leadership has never expelled any law-abiding Nigerian from the state.
“It is unfortunate that those who are trusted with the people’s mandate and should ordinarily uphold truth and justice have chosen to mislead the country,” Ortom declared.
The Benue Governor advocated that political leaders should be cautious and retrace their steps that are capable of leading the country into anarchy.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Presidency that has been struggling with image laundry on the Fulani herdsmen violent onslaught across the country, had disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the arrest of anyone possessing sophisticated weapons illegally.
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