Bauchi Governor endorses killings by Fulani herdsmen, says herders have no option other than to carry AK-47

February 12, 2021
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Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State for whatever reason covertly endorsed killings and destruction of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria. The Bauchi governor had on Thursday declared that the Fulani herdsmen “have no option but to carry AK-47 for self-defence because they are being attacked and killed by cattle rustlers.”

Unfortunately, the Bauchi governor could not confirm cases of cattle rustling in southern Nigeria. Again, he turned blind eyes on cases of kidnapping linked to Fulani herdsmen across the country.

Governor Mohammed, however, berated the southwest, southeast governors, including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on the ways they are tackling the herdsmen onslaught on local farmers in their states.

Governor Mohammed had declared: “The Fulani man is practicing the tradition of trans-human, pastoralism, he has been exposed to the battery of the forests, the animals, and now, the cattle rustlers, who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth – that is his cows – he had no option than to carry Ak-47 because the society and the government are not protecting him.

“It is not his fault; it is the fault of the government and the people; you don’t criminalise all of them because in every tribe there are criminals. You should be very sensitive. We have to be careful.”

Governor Mohammed was of the view that the governors in the southwest and southeast states are not accommodative of other tribes.

The Bauchi governor maintained that southern governors were wrong in issuing quit notice to Fulani herders in some states, notably Ondo State.

“On the herders-farmers clashes, you have seen what our colleagues in the southwest are doing and some of them in the southeast. Some of us told them with all modesty and humility – you are wrong.

“But the person that is most wrong is the Governor of Benue State, my brother and my colleague, Governor Ortom; he started all these. If you don’t accommodate other tribes, we are also accommodating your tribes in Bauchi and other places.

“We have so many Tiv people working and farming in Alkaleri, farming in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi; has anyone asked them to go? We have not, because it is their constitutional right to be there.

“We have Yoruba people in Bauchi for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria. Nobody has told them to go; some of them have risen to become permanent secretaries in Gombe, Bauchi, and Borno,” Governor Mohammed declared.

The governor, again, could not establish whether the Tiv, Yoruba and others he listed resident in Bauchi and other northern states are as violent as the Fulani herdsmen. Those issuing quit notice did not do so because the cattle breeders are Fulani; they are issuing the order because of the violent crimes – kidnapping, raping, killings in rural communities and others – in their states linked to Fulani herdsmen. Besides, their leaders have until recently been threatening war and claiming ownership of indigenes ancestral lands in several parts of the country.

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