On Thursday, February 11, Governor Mohammed at a function said that Fulani herdsmen carry AK47 rifles to protect themselves since the government isn’t protecting them. He accused Governor Samuel Ortom of not accommodating other tribes like the Fulanis in Benue state
“The governor that is most wrong is the governor of Benue State, my brother, and colleague Governor Samuel Ortom. 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. 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 practicing 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 than to carry Ak-47 and defend himself because the society and the government are not protecting him.
It is not his fault, it is the fault of the government and the people; you don’t criminalise all of them because in every tribe there are criminals. You should be very sensitive.” Mohammed said
In his reaction, Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said Governor Bala is unfit to be in public office. Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, in his reaction said he finds it shocking that a colleague, who took the oath of office as he also did, to protect and preserve the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same constitution by calling for lawlessness. Read here and here.
In a statement released by its National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan on Thursday, February 18, Miyyeti Allah described Governor Mohammed as the only voice among his peers in the North that has risen in defence of pastoralists being persecuted across Nigeria.
The group in the statement titled: ‘His Excellency Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed – Executive Governor Bauchi State: The gradual emergence of a courageous northern leader,’, accusedBenue Governor Samuel Ortom of having ”hatred” for the Fulani race. It also alleged Ortom’s achievement in office since 2015 was his “obnoxious” anti-open grazing law in the state.
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed Executive Governor of Bauchi State has gradually emerged as the only lone voice among his peers in the North to come out openly in the defense of the Fulani pastoralists that are being persecuted across many states through enactment of negative obnoxious laws against their means of livelihoods and the issuance of illegal eviction notices from their places of abode against the constitutional provisions.”the statement in part reads
The group also attacked Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, accusing him of being behind the creation of Amotekun allegedly unleashing terror on herders in Ondo and Oyo.
On Ortom and Akeredolu, the association said:
“Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has refused to be like Governor of Benue State H.E Samuel Ortom whose only achievement in the rising of ethnic militia and gang leaders that have been vising mayhem of killings in his state. Whose only evidence of dividends of democracy to his improvised citizens is the creation of obnoxious anti-grazing laws.
He has refused to be like Governor of Ondo State H.E Rotimi Akeredolu who is a Senior lawyer (SAN) but has proved to be a disgrace to the legal profession.
Akeredolu after creating an ethnic militia (Amotekun) that is now unleashing terror and mayhem on innocent herders and northerners living in the south-west against unconstitutional and blanket eviction notices for herders to vacate places where their livelihoods.”