Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said that Fulani herdsmen being accused of attacking natives are only defending themselves.
He said it was wrong for the South-West governors to eject them, saying Benue State Governor,Samuel Ortom, was the most culpable.
At a meeting with journalists in Bauchi on Thursday, he said:
“On the herders/farmers clashes, you have seen what our colleagues in South-West are doing and some of them in South-East. Some of us told them with all modesty and humility –you are wrong.
“But the person that is most wrong is the Governor of Benue State, my brother and my colleague, Governor (Samuel) Ortom, he started all these. If you don’t accommodate other tribes, we are also accommodating your people in Bauchi and other places.
“We have so many Tiv people working and farming in Alkaleri, farming in Tafawa Balewa, farming in Bogoro Local Government areas of Bauchi, has anyone asked them to go? We have not, because it is their constitutional right to be there.
“We have Yoruba people in Bauchi for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria. Nobody has told them to go, some of them have risen to become permanent secretaries in Bauchi, Gombe, and Borno.
He added, “And now, the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of pastoralism, he has been exposed to the dangers of the forests, the animals, and now, the cattle rustlers, who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth, his cows, he had no option than to defend himself because the society and the government are not protecting him.
“It is not his fault, it is the fault of the government and the people, you don’t criminalise all of them because in every tribe there are criminals. You should be very sensitive.”