Bala Mohammed, Bauchi state governor, says herders carry weapons because they need to protect themselves.
The governor ascribed the practice to the failure of society and government to guarantee the safety of herders while in the forest.
Commenting on recent developments in the south-west, Mohammed warned against the criminalisation of the entire Fulani tribe.
The governor spoke on Thursday during the press week celebration in Bauchi.
“Because the Fulani man is practising the tradition of pastoralism, he has been exposed to the vagaries of the forest, cattle rustlers who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth, which is the cows,” he said.
“He has no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting him, what is his fault; it’s the fault of the government and the people. You don’t criminalize all of them, because, in every tribe, there are criminals.”
Mohammed also criticised Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue, whom he accused of fuelling the criminalization of the Fulani tribe.
He said: “The governor that is most wrong is the governor of Benue State, my brother and colleague Governor Samuel Ortom; he started all these.
“If you don’t accommodate other tribes, we are also accommodating your tribes in Bauchi and other places. We have so many Tiv people farming in Alkaleri, in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro LGAs; has anybody told them to go?
“We have not; because it’s their own inalienable rights to be there. We have Yoruba people in Bauchi, for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria; some of them have risen to become permanent Secretaries in Bauchi, in Gombe and in Borno.
“You can see what our colleagues in the south-west and some from the south-east are doing. If cyber crime is practised by one tribe, you don’t criminalise all the tribe that they are criminals.”
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