- Bauchi government has cleared the grey areas on Governor Bala Mohammed's controversial comment on herders carrying AK-47
- In a statement, an aide to Governor Mohammed said the comment of his boss was misunderstood and misrepresented
- Muktar Gidado said Governor Mohammed's position was to "caution stakeholders to guard against escalating ethnic tension"
Bauchi state government has put forward an explanation on the statement of Governor Bala Mohammed justifying Fulani herders carrying AK-47 for self-defence.
In a statement on Sunday, February 14, Muktar Gidado, a senior special assistant on media, said the comment of the principal was misunderstood, The Punch reports.
Legit.ng recalls that governor, who was a special guest of honour at the launch of the inaugural edition of the Bauchi correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)’s magazine on Thursday, February 11, said the AK-47 is just a weapon carried by herders to tackle cattle-rustlers.
Mohammed maintained that since the host communities and government of host states failed to protect the herders, it is imminent that the Fulani herders carry guns as self-defence.
The governor also berated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for issuing an eviction notice to the criminal herders residing in the Ondo forest reserves.
The Bauchi governor's statement has since generated a mixed reaction, with Samuel Ortom and Akeredolu of Benue and Ondo states respectively slamming him for justifying illegal handling of firearms.
But in a subsequent reaction, Gidado said Mohammed's position was misrepresented in the media to mean he was backing criminal herders.
“The governor would want it placed on record that his statement was intended to caution all stakeholders to guard against escalating the tension, just as many patriotic stakeholders, particularly from the north, have been working round the clock to avert reprisal actions that could throw the entire country into a cauldron of unimaginable proportions."
Nobody can evict us - Miyetti Allah
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that amid mounting tension characterising the ethnic farmer-herder crisis, a cattle-rearer Fulani group Miyeti Allah threatened to unleash violence if any of its members is harmed.
Saleh Alhassan, a spokesman of the group, made the declaration on Sunday, February 14, saying "nobody has right to evict herdsmen."
According to him, Fulani herders "will resist eviction" and there will be retaliation for any killing of Fulani herders in the southern part of the country.
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