The Chairman of the South West Governors Forum and Ondo state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu has faulted the Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed, for justifying Fulani herdsmen carrying guns, describing him as an anarchist, not fit for public office.
Speaking through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, Akeredolu expressed disappointment over the statement credited to the Bauchi governor, describing it as shocking and disappointing.
He said “We read with dismay, the outburst in the purported statement by the Bauch State Governor. We are persuaded to believe he didn’t make that statement.
“If indeed he made that statement and owns up to its contents, it then means that the Bauchi State governor has declared on behalf of the Federal Government, an Executive Order which now allows all Nigerians, herdsmen inclusive, to carry prohibited firearms like Assault Rifles for self-defence.
”That is exactly what the Governor has done and displayed by his conduct which brazenly depicts that whether other Nigerians like it or not, herdsmen must carry Ak 47 for self-defence while other non-Fulani herdsmen must remain unarmed to be perpetual victims of arms wielding bandits.
The governor who also described the statement as careless talk and inciting said ”by that statement, the governor has in one breath, agreed that indeed Fulani herdsmen carry AK 47 and at the same time encouraging all to do likewise.
“The Bauchi governor has by his conduct and attitude, ushered us into the next level on the path to anarchy. He’s not fit for public office persons of such impecunious disposition and character is not fit for public office.
”As long as Nigeria’s consideration remains unchanged, it is still unlawful for any unauthorised persons to carry prohibited arms. The statement is most despicable, highly recommended for the dust bin of careless talks.
It will be recalled that Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has equally described as shocking and disappointing the statement of Mohammed.
Ortom said that “it was shocking that a fellow governor who took the oath to protect and preserve the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria took the lead in violating provisions of the same constitution by calling for lawlessness”
According to him ”the most shocking part of governor Bala Mohammed’s statement was where he defended herdsmen for bearing arms saying they have no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting them.
Ortom added that ”l wonder which section of the law the Bauchi State governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
Bala Mohammed had in an interview during the week said that herdsmen carry guns to protect themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.