Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, lamented the expansion of arms, including AK-47 rifles amongst farmers and herders in the nation on Tuesday.
Lalong, who is likewise the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, stated that the full execution of the National Livestock Transformation Plan was the solution to the regular conflicts between host farmers and nomadic cattle rearers.
He disclosed this while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ monitored by Top Naija.
The governor maintained that open grazing must be prohibited and the ranching system of cattle breeding must be adopted by all to experience peace in the nation.
Lalong said, “Today, we are now seeing the hazard of allowing people do open grazing here and there. But they (herders) also want solution; by the time you explain to them, they also want to stay in one place, they would also want to keep away from carrying AK-47.
“I’m not justifying anybody to carry AK-47 but don’t forget that in the course of our deliberations and investigations, it was not only Fulani herdsmen that were carrying AK-47, even farmers were carrying AK-47.
“It is just proliferation of arms in respect to guarding themselves. Everybody is trying to protect himself, we shouldn’t allow self-help.
“At the time there were farmers-herdsmen clashes here (in Plateau), we arrested people, farmers also had AK-47 and the herdsmen were also holding AK-47 too.
“But if you want all of them not to hold AK-47 again, you must put deliberate efforts to curtail the influx of light arms and secondly find ways to take these people away from the old type of farming and then introduce them to the modern system.”
Recently, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has experienced harsh criticism for saying herders carry AK-47 rifles for self-defence.
The remark caused outrage with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, criticising the Bauchi governor for backing crime.
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