The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has waded into the current disagreement between Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed on the issue of herdsmen who carry AK-47.
The party in a series of tweet on Monday also called for calm between both parties.
It said, “@OfficialPDPNig assures that it has waded into the rift between Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, and his Benue State counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom.
“@OfficialPDPNig calls for calm as the internal reconciliation mechanism introduced by the hierarchy of the party between the two governors subsists.
“PDP however urges the Federal Government to take urgent steps to address the escalated security challenges in our country,” PDP said.
Governor Ortom had earlier on Monday accused his Bauchi State counterpart, Mohammed, of being a terrorist based on his utterances supporting herdsmen from carrying AK-47 to defend themselves.
Ortom also accused Mohammed of being a part of those threatening his life stressing that the Bauchi governor should be held responsible if anything happens to him.
He reacted to Governor Mohammed’s statement which said herders can carry AK-47 to defend themselves noting that “his recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that.”
The Benue Governor, therefore, called on Governor Mohammed to render an unreserved apology and learn from the provisions of the constitution that, land both territorial, forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust, instead of indulging in inciting Fulani herdsmen against innocent Nigerians.
Bala Mohammed’s AK-47 Comment
Governor Bala Mohammed recently defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration, and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
This sparked more reactions.
His comment had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open-grazing.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, were quick to knock the Bauchi governor’s statement. Akeredolu had described it as uncalled for, arguing that it could further escalate tensions in the West African nation.