AK-47 for protection: Northern coalition defends herdsmen, Bala Mohammed


Mohammed and Fulani herders bearing guns

Mohammed and Fulani herders bearing guns

The Coalition of Northern Organisations (CNO), on Saturday, declare support for Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed over statement credited to him, that herdsmen carry Ak47 rifles to protect themselves and their cows.

The coalition made the position known at a press briefing held at Arewa House, Kaduna.

Convener and Chairman of the Coalition, Idris Umar Goga said Bala Mohammed only stated the obvious, adding that controversies that greeted the former FCT minister’s comment were needless.

Goga added that herdsmen have been exposed to insecurity for years without government intervention.

Goga who was flanked by the National Coordinator, Aminu Saleh and other executives of the Coalition said, “many herders have lost their lives while undertaking their legitimate business of cattle rearing. Any well-meaning Nigerian will not speak against these Nigerians resorting to self-help in protecting themselves in the face of government failure to protect them.

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“The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) clearly stipulates in Section 14 (2) (b) that, “security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

“Despite being bona fide Nigerians whose security and welfare are constitutionally guaranteed, the government has done nothing to secure the lives and cattle of the herders. It is in this context that Governor Mohammed made mention of the use of Ak-47 by the herders to protect themselves against attacks.

“The Coalition of Northern Organization categorically declare our support for the governor on this. To us, the governor never any-where in his speech voiced support for criminal herders in any form whatsoever. Rather, he spoke against the ethnic profiling of the Fulani herders as a bunch of criminals.

“It is a known fact that as there are good people among all tribes in Nigeria today, so there are bad people. No tribe has the monopoly of being made up solely of good people or bad people. It is not only wrong to say all Fulani herders are bad but also unjust to profile them as criminals,” Goga said.

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