NGO Faults Bauchi State Governor over Herdsmen Claims

A Non- Governmental Organisation based in Edo state, Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change FGGSC, has called on President Mohammad Buhari to call the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed order over his statement justifying Fulani herdsmen bearing arms to protect their cows.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Comrade Austin Osakue, stated this at the weekend while addressing a press conference in Benin.

He noted that the Governors statement had exalted cows’ status over that of Nigerians and such assertion is capable of igniting the masses.
It will be recalled that the Bauchi state governor had expressed disappointment over the negative judgment of Fulani herders in the country, stating that his counterparts lacked foresight in handling issues of herders and farmers.

He lamented herdsmen in the country were ill-treated and said some governors of the southern states and the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, are making controversial utterances and enacting policies that will distort public peace. He noted that the Fulani pastorates are being accused as most of them have become victims of cattle rustlers, and therefore “the herdsmen have the right to own and carry around AK47 rifles for protection of their cows”.

According to Osakue, Bala Mohammed’s statement is irresponsible, provocative, divisive, and unbecoming of a governor’s status in a pluralistic society like Nigeria. It can aggravate ethnic and religious tension across Nigeria.

He noted, “The statement opens the floodgates of self-help for Nigerians of other ethnic divides and geographical zones to resort to self-help and arm themselves.

“That President Buhari’s federal government has not reprimanded the Bauchi’s governor so far paints a scenario of the voice of Jacob but the Hand of Esau.

“How can one ethnic group constitute so much threat to the rest of Nigeria? Who are their backers? Why have repeated calls for ranches fallen on deaf ears?

“We call on the Buhari government to consult the history books. If it does, it will discover that the same events which led to the thirty-month civil war between 1967 and 1970 are playing out now.
“Those who fail to learn from history will be forced to repeat it,” Comrade Osakue declared.

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