The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation has slammed Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, for justifying the use of AK-47s by herders across the country.
The governor had on Monday faulted the quit notice given to Fulani herders in some areas in southern states, particularly Ondo, pointing out that the actions of the region’s governors were wrong.
He said people from other parts of the country live in the North and none of them was given eviction order.
He had also justified the use of AK-47s by Fulani herdsmen, arguing that they carry such for self-defence because cattle rustlers are attacking them.
Mohammed had said: “On the herders-farmers’ clashes, you have seen what our colleagues in the South-West are doing and some of them in the South-East. Some of us told them with all modesty and humility – you are wrong.
“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 but to carry AK-47 and defend himself because the society and the government are not protecting him.”
But speaking with SaharaReporters on Friday, the National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, never asked herders to leave the state but its forest reserves.
Odumakin faulted the governor for comparing those “carrying arms” to other Nigerians.
He said, “The governor of Bauchi is one of the troubles of Nigeria. That governor needs to be checked. How can you be defending those who are carrying arms to other Nigerians? Has he ever issued a word of commiseration to those who lost their lives? He has never done so.
“There is no South-West governor who has asked herdsmen to leave the South-West. Only Governor Akeredolu said ‘quit our forests’, are they animals that they want to live in the forest? Are there Yorubas in Bauchi who say they want to live in the forest in Bauchi, how can he say his criminals should come and be living in our forest when none of our own people is living in their forest?”
Saharareporters, New York