The Farmers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday slammed Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, for telling lies that farmers carry AK-47 like the killer Fulani herdsmen. The Benue State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in a statement on Wednesdays berated the Plateau State Governor on his statement that both herders and farmers carry AK-47, which the group declared as falsehood. The group insisted that farmer in Nigeria do not carry AK-47 like herdsmen.
The Benue State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the statement on Wednesdays jointly signed by the State Chairman, Aondongu Saaku, and State PRO, Anthony Onu Ogbole, declared: “We watched with shock, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, on Channels Television where he accused farmers of carrying AK-47 riffles like Fulani herdsmen.
“All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue State Chapter, finds Governor Lalong’s accusation grossly unacceptable, and we hereby reject it in its entirety.
“We consider the Plateau State Governor’s utterances as an insult to farmers of Benue State, in particular, and Nigerian farmers, in general, whose efforts in feeding the nation are being frustrated by atrocities of armed herdsmen.”
Governor Lalong, on Channels Television Breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday blamed both farmers and herdsmen for the increasing arms proliferation in Nigeria, saying that herdsmen and farmers now carry AK-47 in self-defence. The Plateau State may have covertly justified the possession of AK-47 by Fulani herdsmen and may be reinforcing Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State who also validated the illegal arms bearing by the killer Fulani herdsmen. The Bauchi State governor had validated the illegal arms possession by Fulani herdsmen on his indefensible reason of self-defence against rustling of their cattle. This, the Bauchi State governor failed to prove was the reason for invasion of rural communities and killing of innocent citizens in several parts of the country, even in communities where cattle rustling is unknown or strange to the people.
Apparently, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue State Chapter, maintained that farmers in Nigeria are law-abiding citizens and do not take the laws into their hands.
“Benue farmers are peaceful and law-abiding. We do not take the law into our hands despite the many unprovoked attacks on our members who are killed in their hundreds and their only source of livelihood destroyed by armed herdsmen.” The Association leaders declared.
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue State Chapter, acknowledged the efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on the legislation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, to prevent itinerant herdsmen in the state, as well as other measures to restore peace and security in Benue State.
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