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Buhari Shoving 1964 Northern Decree On Cow Grazing Route On Nigeria —Senate Spokesman, Basiru |The Republican News

Senate Spokesman, Ajibola Basiru

Ajibola Basiru, spokesman for the Senate, says there is no grazing-route law in Nigeria.

Basiru said this following the statement of the President on the farmer-herder crisis.

The President while fielding questions in an interview with Arise Television on Thursday, said: “What I did was ask him (AGF) to go and dig the gazette of the first republic when people were obeying laws.
“There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herders) are moving up country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there.”

But speaking with The PUNCH, Basiru said the gazette that Buhari was referring to was a product of a decree promulgated in northern Nigeria in the 1960s, adding that the Land Use Act recognised by the constitution has rendered it ineffective.

“Nigerians should be concerned over whether the Nigerian president is actually getting the correct legal advice from his attorney-general and the legal team,” the senator said.

“As far as I am concerned, as a legal practitioner, there is nothing like grazing routes or grazing reserve law, in the laws of the federation of Nigeria. There is nothing like that.

“There is no federal legislation that the president can implement over such matter. The executive powers of the president merely rely on the powers of the National Assembly to make laws, when you look at Section 5 of the constitution.

“Any area where the National Assembly cannot make laws, and there is no express grants of powers to the president under the constitution, a purported exercise of power by the president in that regard, will be null and void because it is inconsistent with the constitution by section 1(3) of the 1999 constitution.

“I am aware that there is a northern Nigerian law on reserve and grazing routes which was promulgated by a 1964 decree by the premier of the defunct northern Nigeria region.”

The legislator said there is no way a decree for Northern Nigeria will be implemented as a federal law.

“It is not a federal law unless the legal adviser to Mr President is equating a northern Nigeria law, which is not applicable in the west, mid-west, and eastern region or in anywhere in the southern part of Nigeria, to be a federal or a Nigerian law,” he said.

“The president does not have the power to implement that law because it is not a federal law. He can only implement federal legislation made by the National Assembly or deemed to have been made by the National Assembly.

“The grazing routes law is not a National Assembly law, so there is nothing for the president to implement. It is regrettable that the president has not been properly advised by his attorney-general and the legal team.” (Punch)

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Buhari Supports Open Grazing, Gives AGF Order To Recover Lands, Routes For Fulani Herdsmen |RN

By Eniola Akinkuotu


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has given approval to the return of the open grazing practised during the 1st Republic where herdsmen used designated grazing routes to move their cattle to several parts of the country.

To this end, the President said he had asked the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.

Buhari said this during an interview with Arise Television which was aired on Thursday.

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The President said the grazing routes were designated in the 1st Republic when “Nigerians use to obey laws” but those routes had been converted.

Buhari was reacting to a question on the decision by 17 southern governors to ban open grazing.

The AGF had kicked against the declaration by the governors, adding that it was like northern governors banning spare part trading, a job that is synonymous with southerners.

When asked if he agreed with the AGF’s position, Buhari laughingly responded, “You want me to contradict my attorney-general?”

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Explaining further, he said, “What I did was ask him to go and dig the gazette of the 1st Republic when people were obeying laws. There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herdsmen) are moving up country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there.


“If you allow your cattle to stray into any farm, you are arrested. The farmer is invited to submit his claims. The khadi or the judge will say pay this amount and if you can’t the cattle is sold. And if there is any benefit, you are given and people were behaving themselves and in the grazing areas, they built dams, put windmills in some places there were even veterinary departments so that the herders are limited. Their route is known, their grazing area is known.

“But I am telling you, this rushing to the centre (sic) so I asked for the gazette to make sure that those who encroached on these cattle routes and grazing areas will be dispossessed in law and try to bring some order back into the cattle grazing.”

He also lamented the style and utterances of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who had not only implemented an aggressive anti-open grazing law but had accused Buhari of failing to take actions against herdsmen because he is also a member of the Fulani herders.

Buhari said indeed, he is a Fulani man but Ortom was being unfair to him. He said he had told Ortom that the herdsmen perpetrating the attacks are not the Nigerian ones.

The President further explained that the Tivs, which form the majority in Benue, and the Fulanis had been engaged in cultural conflicts for a long time.

He added, “The problem is trying to understand the culture of the cattle rearers. There is a cultural difference between the Tivs and the Fulanis. So, the governor of Benue said I am not disciplining the cattle rearers because I am one of them.

“I cannot say I am not one of them but he is being very unfair to me and I told him that the Nigerian cattle rearer was not carrying anything more than a stick sometime with a machete to cut some trees and feed his cattle but those sophisticated ones move with AK 47.

“So, from other areas, people rush to Nigeria you know and Fulanis from Mauritania and Central Africa look the same so they feel they are the Nigerian ones and I assure you that we are trying to resuscitate these cattle routes, grazing areas and make them accountable.”. (Punch)

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Miyetti Allah To Southern Governors: Let’s Reach A Compromise On Open Grazing |The Republican News


By NNWANOSIKE ONU, Awka


The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, says, instead of the blanket ban on open grazing by the Southern governors, that a middle course should be taken to douse tension in the area

The middle course according to the group is coming together of leaders of the South and the North to chart the way forward for an improved and more modern mode of livestock keeping.

“It will douse tension and the heightening tension across the north and south and give sufficient room for a gradual adjustment that will be beneficial to the generality of Nigerians.

Neither the northern nor the Southern political leaders should call the bluff of the commoners, whose surface interpretation of the situation, has the tendency of brewing misgiving, rancour and avoidable friction across the board,” MACBAN said.

The Chairman of Miyetti Allah in the Southeast, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, made this known to The Nation Thursday in Awka, adding that the rising state of insecurity in Nigeria had increasingly fanned the embers of suspicion among the different ethnic nationalities in the country.

The MACBAN leader said, “In recent times, however, the Fulani ethnic nationality has suffered greater hate and blanket condemnation by most of the other tribes in Nigeria.

“Because of the nature of Cattle rearing the herders are more on transit and so always interfacing with multiple cultures amongst their host communities.

“They are equally exposed to the wanton camp infiltration by often migrant fellows who are criminally minded and who do not spare the law-abiding herders the venomous effects of their criminal acts for their lawless acts, the entire Fulani suffers odium, unfortunately.

“I always insisted that the government and the statutory security and law enforcement organs should and must not shirk from their primary responsibility for security of live and properties of law-abiding citizen of Nigeria.

“Recently, the southern Governors met and placed a blanket ban on open grazing in a collective response to the demands of their people.

“I have interacted closely with some of these political leaders and understand the persistent pressure on them to take the stand they just recently took.

“Our people have lived harmoniously with the tribes in the south, but very recently the awry activities of migrant Fulanis have provoked unhealthy suspicion and attitude against people that have for aged enjoyed the warmth of neighborhood of their occupation.

“There is, therefore, need for a functional engagement to deconstruct the growing hate narration against Fulanis.

“I sincerely do not think anybody or group should be quick in rising to condemn the political heads of the south in this decision

“I rather think that the political leaders of the north, particularly those of them who are of Fulani stock or who understand the dynamic of livestock rearing, should put heads together and constructively engage their colleagues in the south for the good of all,” Siddiki said. (The Nation)

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Arewa Consultative Forum Backs Southern Governors, Says Open Grazing Must End |The Republican News

By Afemai Reporter

Mouthpiece of Northern Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed support for the call of the Southern Governors to ban open grazing of cattle.

ACF Chairman and immediate past Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe in a statement on Monday said, “the ACF does not see any reason to object to a decision taken in the best interest of all.”

According to him, “the fact of the matter is that, the crisis emanates from the belief by most herdsmen that they are free to enter any farm, eat up the crops and rape or kill any one raising objections. Nobody or society can accept that.

“The current high price of garri is one obvious reason of this behavior. Few cassava farms cannot grow to maturity before it is harvested by the farmers. So, food security is already being threatened.”

Chief Ogbe however said there is the need to advise the governors in all states not to think that merely banning open grazing will end the crisis, stressing that “The bulk of the violent herders are the ones marching in from neighboring African countries in large numbers, thousands at a time and showing no regards to boundaries whether State or regional. They have to be stopped.

“Therefore the Umar Abdullahi Ganduje formula must be adopted to stop the entry into Nigeria of cattle from West Africa. The solution is for Nigeria to seek an amendment to Article 3 of the ECOWAS protocol especially as regards the free movement of cattle and other livestock without special permits.

“If this is done, we have over 5 million hectares of land in old grazing reserves left, enough to accommodate over 40 million cows if well grassed and watered.

“Northern governors should immediately look into this and see the viability. Within those spaces, ranches can be developed for lease to Nigerian herders so that this matter can be brought to an end. Thereafter any herders found roaming can be penalized.

“Our ECOWAS neighbours can find ways to deal with their own issues the way they deem fit. We can seek support from AFDB, the World Bank EU or the Kuwait Fund or any source willing to support us in resolving this problem. Hurling abuses, trading suspicion and threatening warfare as is currently the trend will only produce grief and disaster,” he stressed

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Be Cautious With Your Utterances And Decisions, Northern Elders Tell Southern Governors | The Republican News

Photo: Southern Governors

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, on Wednesday, urged the Southern Governors to exercise caution in their decisions and utterances.

NEF spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated this against the background of the 10-point decisions reached by the governors after a meeting in Asaba.

Baba-Ahmed, who noted that the country was facing trying times, reiterated its call for the rights of Northernern communities in the South not to be abridged in any form.

“The meeting and its resolutions are clearly major developments in the context of our current circumstances as a nation.

“Our Forum prefers to study developments of this nature with the responsibility they deserve and make its positions known.

“What we must say at this stage is that all leaders must exercise great caution in terms of their decisions and utterances.

“It is tempting to pander to galleries, but leaders set the pace and direction. They do not follow.

“We should also renew our appeal that members Northern communities living in the South, including Fulani, should not have their lawful rights abridged.

“These are very trying times. We hope the President will read the import of the decisions of this meeting very carefully and respond appropriately,” he said in a chat with Vanguard.

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Southern Senators Back Southern Governors On Open Grazing Ban, Urge For Requisite Laws |The Republican News

Archive photo: The Nigerian Senate

By The Republican News

The Southern senators have in a press conference held in Abuja expressed their support for the resolution made public in a communique issued by Southern Governors after their meeting in Asaba, Delta state.

The widespread insecurity and terror unleashed by the Fulani herdsmen have become of grave concern nationwide.

The press release is below:

PRESS STATEMENT

INSECURITY: SOUTHERN SENATORS COMMEND AND ENDORSE THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN GOVERNORS; URGING THEM TO WORK WITH THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS.

As insecurity continues to take a toll on the country and subjecting many to kidnapping and killing, the Southern Senators Forum (SSF), has commended Governors from the region for outrightly taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning open grazing of cattle.

The Senators submitted that such deft and unanimous policy would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.

Southern Governors Forum (SGF), had at its meeting held in Asaba, Delta State Capital, on Tuesday, unanimously passed a verdict prohibiting open grazing in the region to checkmate herders-farmers clashes and senseless kidnapping as well as killings of Nigerian citizens of southern extraction.

A statement jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Secretary General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Mathew Uroghide (Edo) and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu), respectively and made available to journalists in Abuja and Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, appaluded the step taken by the Governors, saying it would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands, kidnappings and carnages .

The Senators lamented how the Southern farmers were losing Hyndeeds of millions of Naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity .

They said: “At this critical point of our national life when the economy was being bedeviled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.

“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.

“Most appalling were the seemingly unabated kidnapping , raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.

“With this uniform resolve by our Governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self -sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914”.

Bamidele, Uroghide and Utazi saluted the Governors for ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this will also help to remove the venom that had permeated the land on account of alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.

The SSF leaders stated that ushering of equality , equity and justice in the way the country is being run will wipe out ethnic tension , restore peace and stability and ward off agitations for secession that are now gaining tractions across the land.

Finally, the Southern Senators Forum encouraged the Governors to swiftly follow up on their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working with the two arms of the parliament to ensure that their well articulated positions on the state of the nation, especially as relate to restructuring, State policing and the jettisoning of archaic traditional grazing methods, which fall short of global best practice standard and a potential threat to our national cohesion and peace, are thoroughly and decisively addressed through the ongoing constitutional review exercise.

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Southern Governors Issue Communique, Ban Open Grazing At End Of Meeting In Asaba |The Republican News

Southern Governors

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA, DELTA STATE, ON TUESDAY, 11TH MAY, 2021

At its meeting held today, 11th May, 2021, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the nation generally and focused on the current security situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as on the incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rising from the meeting, the Forum:

affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity;
observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria;
noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot);
recommended that the Federal Government should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;
agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism;
recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency;
recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogenous;
resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large;

expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf. The meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other States of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country;
the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country, and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic;
expressed very grave concern on the security challenge currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people; and
expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality.

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN
Governor, Ondo State

His Excellency His Excellency
Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu Chief Emmanuel Udom
Governor, Abia State Governor, Akwa Ibom State

His Excellency His Excellency
Willie Obiano Senator Diri Duoye
Governor, Anambra State Governor, Bayelsa State

His Excellency His Excellency
Prof. Ben Ayade Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa
Governor, Cross Rivers State Governor, Delta State

His Excellency His Excellency
Engr. Dave Umahi Godwin Obaseki
Governor, Ebonyi State Governor, Edo State

His Excellency His Excellency
John Olukayode Fayemi Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Governor, Ekiti State Governor, Enugu State

His Excellency His Excellency
Senator Hope Uzodimma Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Governor, Imo State Governor, Lagos State

His Excellency His Excellency
Dapo Abiodun Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola Governor, Ogun State Governor, Osun State

His Excellency His Excellency
Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde Ezenwo Nyesom Wike Governor, Oyo State Governor, Rivers State

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We’re Tired Of Open Grazing, It Has Become Obsolete —Miyetti Allah |The Republican News

by Ebunoluwa Olafusi

The Ondo state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says it is time for herders to seek modern alternatives to open grazing.

The association also called on the government to make provision for ranches as a way of putting an end to frequent clashes between herders and farmers.

Bello Garba, chairman of the association in the state, said this in Akure on Wednesday during a public hearing on a bill to regulate grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches, among other related issues.

Garba said the association would support any peaceful move to address the issue, adding that farmers and herders must carry out their respective activities without clashing.

According to him, the association has also appealed to the state government to register Fulani men in all the LGAs of the state.

On his part, Ibrahim Abdul-Rahman, assistant secretary of the association, explained that open grazing had become obsolete and needed to be banned.

Abdul-Rahman asked all stakeholders to embrace modern cattle rearing techniques, saying farmers and herders must allow peace to reign considering the importance of both parties to the nation’s growth.

While declaring the public hearing open, Bamidele Oloyelogun, speaker of the assembly, said it was aimed at enhancing peaceful coexistence in the state.

Oloyelogun added that if similar moves had been made in the past, it would have been a different story today.

“It is for peace to reign in our state. This record will go a long way, having effects even on the children yet unborn,” Oloyelogun said.

“Your memoranda and suggestions will be welcome. Please, feel free to air your views and bare your minds, but we must be objective and constructive.”

The speaker explained that grazing would be regulated with the provision of modern techniques in animal husbandry.

He enjoined participants to shun sentiments, saying “we are all one.”

In his remarks, Taofik Mohammed, chairman of the house committee on agriculture, noted that one of the provisions of the bill is to achieve a peaceful atmosphere in the state.

The lawmaker said it was regrettable that some criminally-minded people had been hiding under the farmers-herders crisis to wreak havoc on innocent citizens.


He explained that the effects of the lingering misunderstanding between farmers and herders have grave effects on the economy, growth and development of the state.

“It is obvious that GDP will adversely drop whenever food and animal production is hampered,” he said.

Mohammed urged participants to take full advantage of the hearing and make invaluable suggestions.

In January, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, had ordered herders to vacate the state’s forest reserves. The order sparked off a chain of controversies.

Amid the insecurity and tension caused by clashes between farmers and herders in some parts of the region, south-west governors have also banned open grazing in the region.

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We Will Not Obey Ban On Open Grazing In South West, Miyetti Allah Tells Governors |The Republican News

Miyetti Allah

The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a factional umbrella body for herdsmen in the country, has said it is opposed to the ban imposed on open grazing of cattle by South-West governors. It said the enforcement of the ban was tantamount to an eviction notice.

This is however against the position of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, which at a meeting with some governors in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on January 25, said it agreed with the position of the governors.

The meeting in Akure was attended by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Governors Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State. MACBAN was led to the meeting by its chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, among other attendees.

Apart from South-West governors, governors in the South-East had previously banned open grazing and movement of cows on foot into the South-East.

The Secretary General of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Alhassan, said on Friday, “They can’t put an end to open grazing by fiat because grazing is not motorcycle business; there must be an alternative. Secondly, if they say they are going to end open grazing, what is the timeline for it?

“They want to displace herders from where they earn their livelihood. It is not different from an eviction notice – it is just putting the eviction notice into effect. This is very unfortunate because they cannot come out to say they are embracing peaceful herders and then say they are ending open grazing. What do they mean by that? Is there closed grazing?

“From history, right from the time of Moses, grazing is open. By now, they should realise that they will not get the result they are looking for. We are in total support of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. I was part of the committee that reviewed the final document. The programme has a lot of components, and if implemented, it will address a lot of challenges.

“Look at Benue State and how the approach has created a militia. You can’t end open grazing by fiat as if someone is looking for a crisis, and these crises have a way of reverberating.”

Alhassan argued that asking herdsmen to stop open grazing and begin ranching was tantamount to asking farmers to begin mechanisation, without which they wouldn’t be able to do their farming activities.

He added, “If they say herders must begin ranching today, where is the ranch? For someone to develop a ranch, they need at least three to five years for it to mature. The facts are there. Ranches cannot be created overnight but they are just playing politics.”

On the issue of insecurity, he said herders had been victims of rustling and kidnapping and that if insecurity was to be addressed, it was not by making it an ethnic issue, because according to him, there are criminals in every ethnic group.

“It’s sad, because at the end of the day, we end up radicalising the herders,” he said. “When they are radicalised, who will benefit? The country will suffer worse insecurity. That’s why we are against this issue of eviction or ultimatum because it doesn’t work like that. There have not been proper laws at the national level to address these challenges and the National Assembly is just playing to the gallery. Let there be proper laws.”

He said if there had been an increase in the herders moving from the North to the South, it could be due to climate change, insecurity in the North-East, drought caused by environmental factors or Boko Haram.

“All these need to be properly addressed via articulated policies. Politicians should address their differences; they should leave the herders alone, they are in the bush dealing with all kinds of challenges,” he added.

When reminded that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who is also a northerner, had canvassed the restriction of the movement of herders from the North to the South, Alhassan said, “That is where I disagree totally with the Kano State governor. Are they going to stay inside his house in Kano? You must create space for them and not to just talk.”

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Fulani Herdsmen Have No Option But To Carry AK-47 For Self Protection —Gov. Bala Mohammed |RN

Bauchi Sate Governor, Bala Mohammed


Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State Governor, has proffered reasons herders must carry weapons.

According to the governor, herdsmen need to protect themselves. The governor ascribed the practice to the failure of society and government to guarantee the safety of herders while in the forest.

The governor, who spoke on Thursday, February 11, in Bauchi, said, “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 AK47 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.” He added

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