Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has clarified that his comment supporting AK-47 for Fulani herdsmen was a ‘figure of speech’.
KanyiDaily recalls that Governor Mohammed had said that Fulani herders carry AK-47 for self-defence because cattle rustlers are attacking them due to government’s failure.
The governor’s comment justifying the use of AK-47 by Fulani herdsmen triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and many Nigerians.
Reacting to the controversy during an interview on Channels Television ’s Sunrise Daily, Mohammed said he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
Bala explained that the Fulani herders had been exposed, dehumanised and demonised and as a case of protection, he must protect himself.
“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,” the governor said.
“What I said in that context, I was addressing the media people. And the topic was the use of the media to foster national unity and I was trying to situate the problem,” the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) explained.
“The Fulani man is so exposed, dehumanised, demonised in fact, because he is being seen as a bandit and so, anywhere he goes, he is being pursued. Not only in the southwest or the southeast, even in the north because he is in the cattle route, his commonwealth which I call his cows, are being taken and rustled and of course, sometimes, they are fined beyond your imagination.
“If one cow strays into the farm because the cattle route has been taken away illegally without the authority giving permission, he will be fined seriously, mercilessly.
“And so, he is exposed and then he has no option but to protect himself. We have so many vigilante groups in Nigeria even at the level of government, subregional groups, sub nationals are establishing vigilante groups to make sure that their communities are protected.
“Why wouldn’t the Fulani man protect himself? And if he carries a gun in order to protect himself, it may not be a legal carriage, it may be legal. He may also register and carry it to protect himself.”
Meanwhile, A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has said that if Fulani herdsmen could be allowed to carry guns for self-defence, other Nigerians should be allowed to secure themselves.