Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has stated that Fulani herdsmen carry firearms to protect themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.
He made this comment while speaking as a Special Guest of honour at the NUJ’s press week celebration on Thursday.
Governor 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.
“Because the Fulani man is practising the tradition of pastoralism, he has been exposed to the vagaries of the forest, cattle rustlers who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth, which is the cows,” he said.
“He has no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting him, what is his fault; it’s the fault of the government and the people. You don’t criminalize all of them, because, in every tribe, there are criminals.”
Bala Mohammed also condemned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue for handling the farmers and herdsmen clashes poorly.
He said: “The governor that is most wrong is the governor of Benue State, my brother and colleague Governor Samuel 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 farming in Alkaleri, in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro LGAs; has anybody told them to go?
“We have not; because it’s their own inalienable rights to be there. We have Yoruba people in Bauchi, for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria; some of them have risen to become permanent Secretaries in Bauchi, in Gombe and in Borno.
“You can see what our colleagues in the south-west and some from the south-east are doing. If cyber crime is practised by one tribe, you don’t criminalise all the tribe that they are criminals.”