Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday accused Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State governor, of being a terrorist.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country,” Ortom said while addressing journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers,” he added.
He also referred to the assertion by Mohammed that herders should carry AK-47 to defend themselves as being “unconstitutional.”
“His recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that,” he said.
Ortom, therefore, called Mohammed to render an unreserved apology to Nigerians and learn from the provisions of the constitution that, land both territorial, forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust.
Mohammed’s comment on armed herdsmen had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open grazing.
Ortom and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, were quick to knock the Bauchi governor’s statement.
“Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu said.
After widespread criticism, Mohammed on Friday defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
“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 during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.