The war of words between Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed continues, with Ortom labelling the latter a terrorist for advocating that Fulani herdsmen be allowed to carry AK-47s to defend themselves.
Governor Mohammed recently defended Fulani herdsmen, some of whom have been accused of killings and destruction of farmlands down south.
Mohammed had said the vagaries the typical Fulani pastoralist has to face daily and the rustlers he has to confront, leave him with no choice but to bear arms.
Ortom and Mohammed have been having a go at themselves over the recurring farmers-herders crisis.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Monday, February 22, 2021, Ortom again unloaded on Mohammed for attacking him.
“I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi Governor Mohammed. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me, it is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country.
“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.
“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office …maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check if maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria.
"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,” Ortom added.
Mohammed tried to walk back his controversial comments last week by saying he used AK-47 as a figure of speech.
“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.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had also criticized Mohammed for his remarks.
Ortom had also said if anything happens to him, Mohammed should be held responsible.