Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has come under severe criticism for justifying the use of AK-47 by herdsmen especially in the South.
While speaking during the 2021 Press Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bauchi State chapter recently, the Governor said the herdsmen use AK-47 in defence of themselves against cattle rustlers and other forms of attacks.
He also faulted how the leaders in the South have treated Farmers-herdsmen men clashes which led to the series of ultimatums given to the herdsmen to leave the region in States like Ondo and Oyo.
The Governor said this in his address; “The Role of the Media in Promoting Peace in Nigeria”
On the herders-farmers clashes, you have seen what our colleagues in the South-West are doing and some of them in South-East. Some of us told them with all modesty and humility – you are wrong.
But the wrongest person is the Governor of Benue State, my brother and my colleague, Governor (Samuel) Ortom; he started all these. If you don’t accommodate other tribes we are also accommodating your people 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 rights 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 Bauchi, Gombe and Borno.
And now, the Fulani man is practising the tradition of trans-human, pastoralism, he has been exposed to the dangers of the forests, the animals, and now, the cattle rustlers, who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth, his cows, he had no option than to carry Ak-47 and defend himself 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.
However, the Governor’s comments have generated some reactions on social media as many shared contrary opinions to his.
The sensible thing to do is get ranches and rear their cattle’s there. This is 2021, not 1901. Or should all farmers carry AK-47 too? https://t.co/l7q3kulRmb
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) February 12, 2021
According To Bauchi Gov, Fulani Herdsmen Carry AK-47 Rifles For Self-defense In Southern Nigeria. In This Clip, You Can See Herdsmen Carrying RPG & Other Explosive Devices. Is That Also For Self-defense? Northern Leaders Will Always Say Anything To Defend These Killer Herdsmen. pic.twitter.com/wYY9AxVMV6
— Paradise Oforma (@OformaParadise) February 12, 2021
Ak-47 costs averagely 500k in Nigeria.. Imaging someone buying that just to k!ll others 😢😭😩😩😩😩
500k is more than enough to give to average petty business owners in Nigeria and change their story for good and forever 👌
— Communicator (@DE_COMMUNICATOR) February 12, 2021
Ak-47 is an every day weapon for the army. They are trained with it and always on combatant mode. The Police are not even supposed to carry an assault rifle on a daily bases. In saner climes their police officers usual first weapon are pistols and small calibre semi automatic….
— Ayodeji Abiola Osoba (@JayJayJaraba) February 12, 2021
These northern governors just talk as if Nigeria is their property.
Let every Nigerian carry AK47 and let's see what he's going to govern.
This is a careless and highly insensitive statement.
— Sege Bobo (@SegeBobo2) February 12, 2021
Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed says Fulani Herdsmen have no option than to carry AK-47, because they need to protect themselves.
They're already legalising arms for herders indirectly.
— Architecture & Building Construction. (@UNCLE_AJALA) February 12, 2021