Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed should apologise to Nigerians over his comment that herdsmen should carry guns and other weapons to defend themselves.
Governor Ortom, who stated this yesterday, while addressing journalists at Government House, Makurdi, said the comment was unnecessary and an indication that Mohammed was among those terrorising Nigerians.
He stated that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbade anyone except security agents to carry arms, stressing that the Bauchi Governor should read the constitution again to update himself on issues.
He urged Mohammed to learn from the governors of Kano and Kaduna states and scholars who had supported a ban on open grazing and shun pampering banditry in the country.
Ortom noted that herdsmen, who were bent on disobeying the laws of Benue State should relocate to Bauchi where Mohammed would allow them to carry guns, pointing out that herdsmen attacks had displaced hundreds of thousands and devastated children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
The Benue State Governor, who also spoke on sundry issues commended security agents for improved security in the Sankera axis, saying the ban on the use of motorcycles in Katsina-Ala had yielded positive results.
“Bala should emulate governors of Kano and Kaduna State and the Sultan of Sokoto, who is constantly speaking against the killer herdsmen. I think he should apologise to Nigerians, particularly those of us who have been affected by herdsmen’s atrocities.
“But if he continues, we will be forced to believe that he is part of the terrorists or one of those sponsoring banditry in the country. We are not against the Fulani living in Benue, but against terrorists Fulani group.”
“Once you refuse to abide by the state’s laws irrespective of your tribe, we will come after you,” he stated.
Ortom said his call for the declaration of a state of emergency in Nigeria was patriotic, insisting that it had the backing of senators and expressed the hope that his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari would receive the desired attention.
He also expressed solidarity with his Niger State counterpart over the recent abduction of students of Government Science College, Kagara and commuters.