By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has slammed his Benue counterpart, Mr. Samuel Ortom as the first leader who started sending away Fulani herders from his state, saying he desn’t accommodate other tribes.
He recalled that so many Tiv people are today working and farming in some Local Government Areas of Bauchi State including Alkaleri, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro, but nobody asked them to go because it is their constitutional rights to live anywhere in Nigeria.
“We have Yoruba people in Bauchi for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria. Nobody has told them to go, some of them have risen to become permanent secretaries in Bauchi, Gombe and Borno”, Mohammed further recalled.
He was speaking as Special Guest of Honour and awardee, being the most journalist friendly governor at the closing ceremony of the Correspondents’ Chapel Week of the NUJ, Bauchi where he commended journalists in the state for accurate and balance reporting of events and promoting peace in the country.
Mohammed told celebrants of the event with the theme “Role of the Media in the promotion of peace and Unity in Nigeria” that it is the constitutional rights of Nigerians to live in whatever part of the country they so wished.
He also blamed his colleagues in the Southern parts of the country for asking the Fulani herders to leave their states, saying “You have seen what our colleagues in the Southeast are doing and some of them in the Southeast on the herder’s/Fulani clashes, some of us told them with all modesty and humility “you are wrong’.
Governor Bala noted that the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of trans-shamans’ pastoralism, he has been exposed to the hazards of the forests, the animals and now ‘the cattle rustlers who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth, the cows, he had no option than to defend himself because the society and the government are not protecting him”.
Mohammed positioned, “it is not his fault, it is the fault of the government and the people, you don’t criminalize all of them because in every tribe there are criminals, you should be very sensitive”.