Home News Bauchi gov says he doesn’t support crimes committed by herdsmen

Bauchi gov says he doesn’t support crimes committed by herdsmen

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Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed on Sunday made clarifications on the statement he made about Fulani herdsmen carrying gun.

He says that he never for once supported the crimes committed by some Fulani herdsmen.

Acccording to him(≧▽≦)nothing could be farther from the truth, adding that he could not support anything that would subvert the Constitution.

The governor had said herders bore firearms ”for self-defence” against cattle rustlers.

But in a statement released Mohammed’s media aide, Mukhtar Gidado, provided a context for his statement.

Gidado said: “During the speech, the Governor used the occasion to weigh in on the contentious issue of clashes between herdsmen and farmers, particularly against the background of the eviction and other forms of restriction orders issued by some state governments and non-governmental entities.

“The primary objective of the Governor was to avert the dangerous prospect of nationwide backlash as tempers were flaring up and given that the phenomenon of inter-ethnic migration is a national pastime involving all ethnic groups in Nigeria.”

He said that “At no time did the Governor set out to justify criminality by anyone, no matter the person’s ethnic nationality. Rather, he admonished us, in the interest of national unity, to avoid wholesale branding of any ethnic group as it is inconceivable that anyone group can be made up of only criminals. By extension, the Governor made it abundantly clear that it will be inappropriate to label anyone tribe based on the crimes of a few members of the ethnic group. “

“Second, to the extent that not every herdsman is a criminal, the Governor’s reference to AK47 was simply to put in perspective, the predicament and desperation of those law-abiding Fulani herdsmen who, while carrying out their legitimate cow-rearing business, have become serial victims of cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping and assassination.

“These are the people who, in the absence of any protection from the security agencies, are forced to resort to self-help, to defend both their means of livelihood and their lives.

“As a constitutionalist, which he has proved over time, all through his political career, Governor Bala Mohammed will be the last person to advocate a subversion of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He did not do so in the past; he will not do so today.

“Third, Governor Bala Mohammed’s description of forests, as “no man’s land”, (please read as gift of nature), is a carry-over from his geopolitical environment where a pastoralist could set up camp, in any forest, for a few weeks without causing any uproar or opposition. To interpret such a temporary stay as a form of ‘land grab’ by the Fulani herdsmen is completely incorrect.

“Neither does such temporary habitation of the forest inconvenience anyone nor does the itinerant Fulani sojourner, bother anyone about his plight in the forest characterised by life without access to electricity, pipe-borne water, good roads or hospitals.”

He said, on the contrary, Governor Mohammed was very familiar with the Land Use Act, including the criteria for land acquisition and could not seek to undermine the statute which, as Governor, he has sworn to uphold.