Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has replied his counterpart from Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, for attacking him over the manner he is handling farmer-herder clashes, saying he is a disappointment.
Mohammed had lashed out at Southwest governors for handling the farmers-herders crisis poorly, saying that Ortom started the whole thing.
Ortom in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, said while he will not want to join issues with his counterpart, 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.
According to Ortom, the most shocking part of Governor Bala Mohammed’s statement was where he defended herdsmen for bearing arms saying “they have no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting them”.
The Benue governor questioned the section of the law the Bauchi governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
“It was the same Governor Mohammed who once said on national television that a Fulani man is a global citizen and therefore does not need a visa to come to Nigeria and that the forests belong to herdsmen,”
Ortom said it was clear that Mohammed did not have detail facts about the havoc being wrecked by Fulani herdsmen across the country, saying if he had, he would not be putting emotion in defending illegality.
In reference to Governor Bala Mohammed’s comment that there are Benue people who are freely doing business in Bauchi and elsewhere, Ortom stated that Benue indigenes in Bauchi have been law-abiding and do not carry arms to attack their hosts, noting that Fulani, as well as many other Nigerians residing in Benue who respect laws of the land, also live peacefully with their hosts.
Ortom insisted that his administration has not driven away any law-abiding Nigerian in Benue State.
According to the governor, it is unfortunate that those who are trusted with the people’s mandate and should ordinarily uphold truth and justice have chosen to mislead the country.
He stressed the need for leaders to be cautious and retrace their steps which are capable of leading the country to anarchy