Don’t blame herdsmen for bearing arms- Gov Mohammed

Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed has said herdsmen are not to be blamed for bearing firearms.

Mohammed said they are only protecting themselves against cattle rustlers who attack, kill and take away their possessions.

The Governor spoke as Special Guest of Honour at the launch of the inaugural edition of the Bauchi Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ’s magazine titled ‘Correspondents’ Watch” on Thursday.

Oyo and Ondo States have been in the eye of the storm lately over security challenges and moves to check the activities of some killer herdsmen.

A popular Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, had issued a quit notice to herdsmen accused of sundry crimes in the Ibarapa area of Oyo and enforced same.

Mohammed, while reacting to the development, said the herdsmen have the right to live anywhere as Nigerians, adding the forests where they graze their cows belong to nobody.

He said ” The west doesn’t want to accommodate other tribes but we are accommodating your tribe in Bauchi. We have Yorubas who have stayed in Bauchi for over 150 years, some of them have been made permanent secretaries in Gombe, Bauchi and Borno but because the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of transhumans, pastoralism, he has been exposed to cattle rustlers who carry a gun, kill him and take away his cows he has no option to carry AK 47 because the government and the society are not protecting him. It’s the fault of the government.

”Nobody owns any forests in Nigeria, it’s owned by Nigeria. Under section 23, 24 and 25 of the Constitution, every Nigerian is free to stay anywhere. Anybody can speak how but we are only exercising restraint.

”If cybercrime is being practised mostly by one tribe, you don’t criminalise the whole tribe because of this. That’s why you journalist needs to be sensitive and exercise restraint. Avoid writing reports that will threaten the unity of this country.”

The Governor, who slammed his Benue counterpart, Samuel Orthom for poor handling of farmers-herders clashes, in his State said he was very wrong to incite other tribes against the herdsmen.

”My brother and my colleague Ortom started all this as regards herders clashes with other tribes. That’s why I must commend the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, NGF Solomon Lalong, he is a hero in the promotion of peace despite his diverse and minority background, he put an end to the Incessant fighting between herdsmen and other tribes in Plateau.”

Presidency Blasts Ondo Governor, Akeredolu Over Ultimatum To Herdsmen (Video)

Akeredolu had on Monday issued a statement giving herdsmen seven days to vacate all forest reserves due to the high rate of kidnapping in the state.

The Presidency has condemned the seven-day ultimatum given to herdsmen by the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to vacate forest reserves, urging the governor ‘not to act outside the constitution of the country’.

Akeredolu had on Monday issued a statement giving herdsmen seven days to vacate all forest reserves due to the high rate of kidnapping in the state.

The governor also banned the movement of cattle within cities and highways, as well as night grazing.

He had said, “Today, we have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press, and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State.

“As the chief law and security officer of the state, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued: All forest reserves in the state are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next seven days with effect from today, Monday, January 18, 2021.”

But reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, condemned the action of the governor.

Shehu said Akeredolu, being a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.

The statement read, “The Presidency has been keenly monitoring events occurring in Ondo State and the ‘orders’ by the government of the state, ‘asking herders to vacate the forests in seven days.’ 

“What is clearly emerging, is a lack of consistency in messaging which in turn leads to various contradictions regarding accuracy and the intent behind the message. There is little to be said other than to call for restraint on both sides and urge the state government and the leadership of the Fulani communities to continue their dialogue for a good understanding that will bring to an urgent end, the nightmarish security challenges facing the state.

“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a seasoned lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has fought crime in his state with passion and commitment, greater sensitivity and compassion for the four years he has run its affairs and, in our view, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.

“If this were to be the case, rights groups will be right in expressing worries that the action could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against.

“We want to make it clear that kidnapping, banditry and rustling are crimes, no matter the motive or who is involved. But, to define crime from the nameplates, as a number of commentators have erroneously done- which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith is atavistic and cruel.

“We need to delink terrorism and crimes from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion—to isolate the criminals who use this interchange of arguments to hinder law enforcement efforts as the only way to deal effectively with them.

“The President, who swore to defend the constitution has spoken against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in asking citizens of Northern origin to leave; he did not spare the group based in Sokoto, ‘Muslim Solidarity Forum,’ which asked the Bishop of Sokoto to leave and is prepared to do all that the law permits to protect citizens all over the country in their choice of where they wished to reside and are treated as equal citizens.

See Video footage 👇

“The government of Ondo, and all the 35 others across the federation must draw clear lines between the criminals and the law abiding citizens who must equally be saved from the infiltrators. Beyond law and order, the fight against crime is also a fight for human values which are fundamental to our country

Afikpo Women Protest Destruction Of Farm Produce By Herdsmen

…Call On FGN, State Govt. To Forestall Clashes

Abakaliki- Hundreds of women from four communities of Nkpoghoro, Ugwuegu, Ohaisu and Itim in Afikpo North L.G.A have taken to the streets of Afikpo town in Ebonyi state protesting destruction of their farm produce by herdsmen.l

They chanted songs, carried sticks in their hands, called on the state and federal governments to wade in to the matter before their people retaliated.

Their grievances were on alleged high rate of destruction of their farm produce by the Fulani herdsmen.

According to their spokes person, Madam Ogwu Idume, their rice and cassava farms, including streams which is the source of drinking water in the farm areas had beendestroyed, polluted.

“Several efforts have been made previously through discussions with the head of the Hausa and Fulani community in Afikpo with no results”, she stated.

The protesters went through Eke Market and the Local Government Council headquarters.

The Coordinator of Afikpo North L.GA Mrs Amuche Otunta Godwin calmed the women, stating that violence has never solved any problem, appreciated their peaceful protest and commended their courage and efforts but charged them to go home and stop further protest.

“As women in government we will approach the issue at the state level”.

DSS Invites Journalist For Reporting Potential Herdsmen Attack In Plateau State

His invitation comes amidst a crackdown on free speech by the secret police under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The Department of State Services has invited a journalist in Plateau State, Masara Kim, for questioning over a report exposing potential attacks in some farming communities by herdsmen.

Kim is expected to appear at the DSS office in Jos on Monday, September 21.

His invitation comes amidst a crackdown on free speech by the secret police under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Masara Kim

Kim on Friday published a story on his website reporting the killing of a mobile police officer and a civilian in Malul, Daffo Village under Bokkos Local Government Area.

The policeman, who was on special duty and one Sati Bulus, were ambushed on a motorbike around 8:30pm on Thursday.

As part of his story, Kim exposed meetings held by Fulani groups in the state to purchase weapons and resume hostilities on farming villages, information he attributed to trusted sources.

The report said, “A meeting of Fulani herdsmen leaders held on Monday in Fass, a native community in Barkin Ladi LGA displaced and renamed Tafawa by herdsmen, allegedly resolved to resume hostilities in Daffo and three other Plateau communities before December 2020.

“Sources say N1.3m was raised through freewill donations at the meeting, with additional levies placed on each herder family for the purchase of arms.

“The meeting reportedly followed a similar meeting in Jos Central Mosque on August 16, 2020 where over N2m was raised for arms but the contacts sent for the purchases in Niger Republic never returned. It is not clear if they were arrested or they simply absconded.

“Nigerian officials however recently announced the arrest of two people with arms and ammunitions heading to Jos, but yet confirmed if they were the herders’ errant men.

“The mission was assigned while a followup meeting held in Bida, Niger State where more strategies for the annexing of native communities in Central Nigeria were discussed, it was gathered.

“During the latest meeting in Fass village, sources confirm the reward of six herders last year arrested over various attacks but given first-class treatment in custody. The reward was however for their courage in not disclosing their networks, it was learnt. If true, violent crimes involving herdsmen are likely to persist in view of the growing impunity, rewards and luxuries given arrested suspects. More people would want to participate in crimes for the rewards involved, the tourism experience of having to lodge in exotic facilities as reported by the released suspects, or the dare to test the security might which appears to be increasingly weakening against herders.”

The DSS recently extended three similar invitations to Obadiah Mailafia, former Central Bank deputy governor, over comments he made about the alleged sponsors of insecurity in the country.

He has since cried out that his life was in danger.

Source : saharareporters

Fulani Herdsmen Behead 13 Travellers, Release One

13 people were killed in his presence. When it got to his turn to be killed, he told the kidnappers that he wants to call his father, Apostle Johnson Suleiman.

Apostle Johnson Suleiman has just secured the release of his kidnapped church member, Edwin Alex, by cursing the herdsmen and declaring them impotent.
Edwin who took to his social media page posted; “4th to 7th September were the worst days of my entire life. I was kidnapped and adopted by Fulani herdsmen on my way to Benin from Auchi on Friday.
“Join me to thank God for saving my life.
“I stayed 3 days with them. My car was scattered and destroyed by them, 13 persons killed right before my eyes even after collecting ransom from them.
“I stared at death in the face but God said it’s not yet my time. I just got released. Currently receiving treatment at the hospital. Join me and appreciate this God.

“The kidnappers got mad knowing Apostle Johnson Suleman’s number was the number I gave them to call, they refused to call him, they kept calling him names, later they summoned courage and they called him.
“However, instead of discussing ransom, dey were insulting him for always interfering in their business.
“Immediately My father told them that for this they have said, they will all be impotent for life, they all ended the call, later they started discussing within themselves to call him back after one of them said he tried testing his manhood but it was stiff but he wasn’t picking up their calls.
“They transferred the aggression to me, beat the day light out of me, all the people killed were all beheaded with a Cutlass, my life was preserved because of Grace.
“When they escorted me to the road to take a bus, the leader told me that “my juju dey work oh”
“I saw hell in these 3 days, stared at death in the face but still came out alive, all the time I was there, I didn’t pray for deliverance from the evil people, I was praying for God to accept my soul when I die because I was certain I would die.
“Glory to God. Hospital don Taya me already.”