Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has faulted the comment made by his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed, that Fulani herdsmen carry firearms to protect themselves.
Naija News had reported that Mohammed said herders carry guns to protect themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.
He also condemned Ortom for handling the farmers and herdsmen clashes poorly and accused Ortom of fuelling the criminalisation of the Fulani tribe in the country.
”My brother and my colleague Ortom started all this as regards herders clashes with other tribes. That’s why I must commend the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, NGF Solomon Lalong, he is a hero in the promotion of peace despite his diverse and minority background, he put an end to the Incessant fighting between herdsmen and other tribes in Plateau,” he had said.
In a statement on Friday through his media, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom said he was disappointed in the Bauchi governor’s statement, adding that such utterances were not expected from a state governor.
He asked Mohammed to cite which section of the law supports herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
Ortom asked his colleagues to be cautious and retrace their steps which are capable of leading the country to anarchy.
The statement said: “Governor Ortom wonders which section of the law the Bauchi State Governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
“He recalls that 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 wonders if his friend and colleague in Bauchi State knows a thing or two about the horrendous activities of herders in parts of the country to warrant the emotional defence and justification that he has repeatedly put forward in their favour.
“The Governor finds it unfortunate that those who are trusted with the people’s mandate, and should ordinarily uphold truth and justice, have chosen to mislead the country.
“He stresses the need for leaders to be cautious and retrace their steps which are capable of leading the country to anarchy.”