Governor Samuel Ortom, of Benue State has accused his counterpart from Bauchi State, Mr Bala Mohammed for supporting Fulani herdsmen to carry AK-47.
Ortom, the “defender of the Benue valley” made this accusation in Makurdi, the Benue State capital while addressing journalists.
He said, Governor Mohammed must be a terrorist for supporting illegal possession of arms by foreign herdsmen.
“I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi Governor. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me. It is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country.
“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.
“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office …maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria,”
He also said that the Bauchi State Governor’s call for herdsmen to carry ammunitions for self-defense is totally unconstitutional. “His recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that.”
He also called on the Bala Mohammed to tender an un reserved apology to Nigerians and also reminded him to stop making inflammatory statements capable of heating up the polity.
Recall that last week, Nigerians descended heavily on the Bauchi Governor for making inciting statements after which he came out to defend himself saying his call for Fulani herdsmen to defend themselves by using AK-47 was a mere figure of speech.
“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,”
But even after Bala defended himself, it did not augur well with many Nigerians as the call for anti-open grazing intensified.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, were quick to knock the Bauchi governor’s statement. Akeredolu had described it as uncalled for, arguing that it could further escalate tensions in the West African nation.
“For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), noted.