Governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, has described Bala Mohammed, his Bauchi state counterpart as ‘unfit for public office,’ for defending the use of arms by herders.
Mr. Mohammed had said on Thursday that herders carry weapon because they need to protect themselves.
But Akeredolu, who had in January ordered criminal herdsmen to leave Ondo forests, labelled his comment as careless and despicable, saying with that the Bauchi governor has encouraged all other Nigerians to carry arms.
“We read with dismay, the outburst in the purported statement by the Bauchi state governor. We are persuaded to believe he didn’t make that statement,” a statement released by Donald Ojogo, the Ondo state commissioner for information and orientation.
“If indeed he made that statement and owns up to its contents, it then means that the Bauchi state governor has declared on behalf of the federal government, an executive order which now allows all Nigerians, herdsmen inclusive, to carry prohibited firearms like assault rifles for self-defence.
He said, “That is exactly what the governor has done and displayed by his conduct which brazenly depicts that whether other Nigerians like it or not, herdsmen must carry AK 47 for self-defence while other non-Fulani herdsmen must remain unarmed to be perpetual victims of arms wielding bandits.
“By that statement, the governor has in one breath, agreed that indeed Fulani herdsmen carry AK 47 and at the same time encouraging all to do likewise.
“The Bauchi governor has by his conduct and attitude, ushered us into the next level on the path to anarchy. He’s not fit for public office, persons of such impecunious disposition and character is not fit for public office.
”As long as Nigeria’s consideration remains unchanged, it is still unlawful for any unauthorised persons to carry prohibited arms. The statement is most despicable, highly recommended for the dust bin of careless talks.”