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Why herdsmen can carry AK-47 – Bala

The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed,  has explained what he meant, when he said that Fulani herdsmen can carry AK-47 Guns.

He said this was to show the extent to which they are dehumanised and demonised, while doing their jobs.

Though on the need for security and self-protection, he does not intend to legalise the carriage of AK-47 based on the comment made.

Speaking on a Channels TV Sunrise Daily  Programme on Friday, Mohammed explained that his use of AK-47 was figurative, refusing to withdraw his statement.

According to him, Nigerians must stop seeing the Fulani herdsmen as rogues or criminals because of the nature of their job.

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The governor said, “What I said in that context is that the Fulani man is so exposed, dehumanised, demonised. Because he is seen as a bandit, anywhere he goes, his commonwealth (cows) are being taken away and rustled.

“If one cow strays into the farm because the cattle route has been taken away illegally without the authority giving permission, he will be fined seriously, mercilessly.

“So, he has no option than to protect himself. We also have so many vigilante groups in Nigeria, even at the different levels of government, sub-regional groups, sub-national.

“When we mention carrying AK-47, it is in other to protect himself. 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.

“It may not be an illegal carriage, it may be legal. He may also register and carry it to protect himself.”

While explaining the need for security and self-protection, the governor clarified that he does not intend to legalise the carriage of AK-47 with his comment.

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