The Governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed, has blamed his Benue counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom for what he called the poor handling of the herders-farmers crises in Benue state.
Mohammed stated that Ortom’s lack of foresight has triggered the current negative perception of Fulani herders in the country.
He made this statement while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2021 Correspondents’ Week Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bauchi State council, held on Thursday at Command Guest House in Bauchi.
Responding to the theme for the Week titled ‘The role of the Media in Promoting Peace and Unity in Nigeria’, the governor cautioned Ortom and some governors from the southern parts of the country to guard against utterances and policies that threaten the peace and unity of the country.
He said: “Unconstructive criticisms bring a lot of hatred and sometimes we are quick to go to the press on issues that are dividing us. I will tell you something that I tell my colleagues about the farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria.
Governor Mohammed lamented that pastoralists in the country, particularly Fulanis were being maligned even though most of them have become victims of cattle rustlers who have dispossessed them of their common wealth and they “have no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting him”
Mohammed, who shot to prominence when he moved the Doctrine of Necessity at the Senate in 2009 which eventually paved the way for Goodluck Jonathan to become Acting President, and later President when Umar Yar’ Afdua died in office, called on Nigerians to stop labeling Fulanis as criminals because every ethnic groups has criminals
He however encouraged journalists to be cautious in their reportage and exercise restraint and avoid takings sides in the issues of herders-farmers clashes inorder to safeguard the unity and peace of the nation.