Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has reacted to his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, for saying herdsmen should be armed. He responded to Mohammed’s statement that herders could carry arms, including AK47, to protect themselves.
He stated this while addressing journalist at the Government House in Makurdi yesterday. Ortom accused the Bauchi state governor, saying he may be among the armed herdsmen who want him dead.
According to him, “Some herdsmen wrote me a letter that they will kill me.
“From the way and manner my brother and governor of Bauchi spoke in support of the herdsmen carrying arms, I suspect that he is among those who want to kill me.
“Should anything happen to me, they should not look far…I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi governor.
“But, since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me, it is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State, is part of the terrorist organisation that is terrorising this country.
“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.
“It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office say this.
“Maybe, he should go back and check the oath of office he took, to check maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist herdsmen to come into Nigeria.
“His recent outburst that herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves is quite unfortunate.
“I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that.”
Ortom said Mohammed should apologise and learn from the constitution, which states that land, includes forests, is vested in the governor, who holds them in trust.
He added that Mohammed should support calls intending to ban open grazing and the need not to pamper bandits.
The governor reinstated that he has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on security and has senators’ backing. The governor further said he is hopeful his request get a positive response from the President.