Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says herders who are not ready to abide by the laws of the state on possession of arms should relocate to Bauchi state.
Ortom and Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed, have engaged in hot exchanges over the legality of arm possession by Fulani herdsmen.
Mohammed had said herdsmen are right to carry AK-47 because they need to protect themselves.
Mohammed was severely castigated for his remarks, with many Nigerians saying such positions would further undermine the security architecture of the country as it will encourage the illegal use of arms.
Speaking on Monday while addressing reporters on the state of security in Benue, Ortom condemned the Mohammed’s statement, saying as far as he is concerned, it is against the constitution.
He warned that if the herders are not ready to comply, they can relocate to Bauchi.
He also noted that contrary to Mohammed’s view that herdsmen could live anywhere in Nigeria, the constitution gives power to the governors to decide who can reside in their states.
“Nigeria is not governed anyhow. It is governed by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. The constitution gives power to all our governors in all the states to preside over the land of their states on behalf of the people, and they’re the only people who can give allocation and can permit people to stay where they are. And so, bandits cannot find a forest and come in to hide under that forest,” Ortom said.
“Benue state is governed by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. Benue state also has laws guiding them. Once you’re a Fulani man with legitimate papers, you are free to stay in Benue state and do business according to the laws of our land.
“Anyone who is not willing to respect the laws of our land should go and meet Bala Mohammed, and there you can carry AK-47, and you’ll not be apprehended. Here, when you come, we’ll apprehend you. I want this to be known.
“We are not against any tribe, especially the Fulani people, but rather against terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers, and all types of criminals within the state.”
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