‘I can’t apologise for opposing tagging patriotic Fulanis as Bandits’

By Rukayat Akanbi

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The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has said that he would never apologise for opposing profiling of patriotic Fulani herders as killers and kidnappers. Mohammed has on Thursday February 12, 2021 said that herders who carry AK47 around do so to defend themselves against cattle rustlers and are rendering them bankrupt. His position has since generated mixed reactions across the country.

He stated this on Wednesday at an official launching of the 2020/2021 annual livestock vaccination campaign, held at Galambi Cattle Ranch in Bauchi. While reacting to his Benue counterpart, Samule Ortom who asked him to apologise for defending carriage of weapons by herders, Mohammed said said that the Fulani tribe over the years have been making so much sacrifices in their pastoral life, adding that the supply of beef would not have been possible without herders’ contribution.

Governor Mohammed said that there is no tribe or group that is free from criminality, so labeling a particular tribe with crime is unfair and breeds disunity in the country.

“We kicked against the profiling of the fulanis as killers and kidnappers, we have no apology for what we have done because what we have done is to say the truth, that there is no tribe or group that is free from criminality. We are not saying that to spite anybody or spark unnecessary controversy, we have made our point. Nigerians across the board have discussed it and I am happy to say that from all indications majority of sensible Nigerians have appreciated what we have said and that is the point.

“I will therefore need not to mention anything of this matter for fear that controversy will be escalated, I will listen to voices of reasoning and keep quiet about it.I am calling on our brothers, the fulanis to ensure that they make their communities free of criminality”

“They must make sure that they fish out the bad eggs from among themselves because criminality is criminality. In as much as we will protect them that they cannot be profiled badly, they should make efforts to show that majority of them are good citizens, contributing positively to the growth and development of Nigeria,” he said

Also, Mohammed’s Commissioner for Environment and Housing, Hon. Hamisu Shira has said that Governor Ortom was covering up his non-performance with herdsmen activities. He urged Ortom to “prioritise good governance in the State like the Governor of Bauchi.” “This is a governor that could not afford to pay salaries while the workers resulted in demonstrations.” Shira blamed Ortom for tagging his principal “terrorist”.

The Commissioner at a press conference on Wednesday felt Ortom was distracting Bauchi Governor with his comment who he believed was working to develop the state.

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