GOVERNOR Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that his Bauchi State counterpart Bala Mohammed should be held responsible of the assassins who have tried to execute him succeed because he is their main backers.
Nigeria has currently been torn apart by the menace of marauding Fulani cattle herdsmen who have terrorised the country with their violence. These herdsmen have destroyed farms as their livestock eat farmers’ crops and when local communities complain, the response is for the pastoralists to attack villages with AK47 assault rifles.
Of late, the herdsmen have graduated to other crimes like kidnapping, rape, banditry and armed robbery. Benue State in particular has borne the brunt of herdsmen, for which Governor Ortom has been very outspoken and in return, he has received death threats.
Earlier this month, Governor Mohammed threw the cat among the pigeons by defending the right of the herdsmen to carry automatic weapons like AK47 assault rifles, saying they needed them to defend themselves. In the past, Governor Mohammed has proposed a Fulani takeover of Nigeria, saying Fulanis from across West Africa have the right to acquire and graze their livestock on Nigerian land as they please.
Yesterday, Governor Ortom urged Nigerians to hold Governor Mohammed responsible if anything happens to him. He added that his Bauchi State counterpart’s defence of Fulani herdsmen carrying AK-47 indicated that he was part of an attempt to assassinate him.
In the past, herdsmen have written to Governor Ortom, threatening to assassinate him and last week, Governor Mohammed accused his Benue State counterpart of perpetrating hatred against the Fulani in Nigeria. Governor Ortom has now accused Governor Mohammed of teaming up with killer herdsmen to eliminate people living in some part of the country, including his state.
Governor Ortom said: “I want to think that with what he said and what those herdsmen wrote to me and said, that they are going to assassinate me. Bala Mohammed is also part of it, with what he has said.
“If anything happens to me, I don’t want anybody to be in doubt, Bala Mohammed should be held responsible. Especially his last week outing after the condemnable remarks he made about Fulani carrying AK-47 and living anywhere in Nigeria.”