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Ortom berates Mohammed over arms for herders

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By Henry Iyarkosa, Markurdi

Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, has berated his Bauchi state counterpart, Bala Muhammed, over his recent comments supporting herders to carry arms, urging him to apologise to Nigerians.

Governor Ortom, in a news conference at Government House in Makurdi on Monday, said the apology was necessary as it would help to console Nigerians particularly those that had lost loved ones to the activities of criminal herdsmen. He also urged Mohammed to take a cue from the governors of Kano and Kaduna states, both of Fulani origin, who have expressed displeasure over activities of terrorist herdsmen in their respective states.

The Bauchi governor had, on February 12, given reasons for his belief that herdsmen should continue to carry AK-47 around the country. He also alleged that the government and the society had failed to protect herdsmen in the forest, hence the need for self-protection.

Ortom maintained that his call on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on security was a patriotic one and wondered why some Nigerians, including those from Benue state, criticised him for that.

He noted that his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari was to express genuine concern over the state of insecurity in the nation, which needed the support of well-meaning Nigerians to surmount.

On the statement credited to Miyetti Allah, in support of Governor Bala Mohammed, Ortom said it was on such issues that he had many times called on the federal government to proscribe the socio-cultural organisation – Miyetti Allah – as a terrorist group.

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