Mohammed stared thisnon Thursday while speaking at the Press Week Celebration organised by Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union Journalists Bauchi State Council.
According to him, Fulani herders carry AK-47 for self-defence because cattle rustlers are attacking them due to government’s failure.
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.
“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 has no option than to carry AK-47 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.”
The governor also accused his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, of worsening the herder-farmer crisis by criminalizing the entire Fulani across the country.
“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.
“But the most wrong person is the Governor of Benue State, my brother and my colleague, Governor (Samuel) Ortom; he started all these. If you don’t accommodate other tribes, we can also accommodate your people in Bauchi and other places.
“We have so many Tiv people working and farming in Alkaleri, farming in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi; has anyone asked them to go? We have not, because it is their constitutional rights to be there.
“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.
“If Cyber Crime is practised by one tribe, you don’t criminalise all the tribe that they are criminals.
“We should be very sensitive, and you as journalists, you must exercise restrain; you must decipher from wrongs and rights, something that is so bad, that can divide us, that can threaten our unity, you don’t do it”, the governor appealed.
KanyiDaily had reported that there have been ethnic tensions across the country, especially in the South-West, which many have attributed to criminal Fulani herdsmen.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu had recently issued a seven-day ultimatum to Fulani herders, to quit the state forest reserve over the rising cases of insecurity in the state.
A Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, also issued an ultimatum to Fulanis to leave Oyo state or face severe consequences.