The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has urged the Nigerian Government to allow every Nigerian to bear firearms to protect themselves, considering the security challenges in the country.
MACBAN made the call on Sunday, while reacting to a comment by Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed, that herdsmen are only carrying firearms for self-defence.
The Bauchi governor had come under severe criticisms from various quarters for defending armed herdsmen, going about with AK-47s.
But MACBAN’s Bauchi Chairman, Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed, told The Nation on Sunday that there was nothing wrong with the governor’s view since he didn’t say herdsmen should go and cause chaos with the weapons.
According to him, since the Nigerian government can no longer protect citizens, it is better for every citizen to protect themselves from bandits.
He said, “The government has become irresponsible. That is why a Fulani man has become an outcast in his own country. All his wealth has been crippled to activities of cattle rustlers. What do you expect him to do?
“Let everybody protect themselves, let everybody carry arms. You don’t allow a few bandits to come and ruin you, kill you, kill your family as few people cannot be terrorising everybody.
“Though in a normal situation, nobody should be allowed to carry arms except those that are legalised to do so but if the Federal government had taken the responsibility of protecting the lives of citizens seriously, no one would dare have (any) reason to carry arms.
“You need to ask yourself, is the government doing enough to protect the lives of herdsmen?
“I won’t fault Governor Bala Mohammed for the statement, he is very right. After all, he did not say herdsmen should go and cause chaos.
“No one faulted Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, when he said herdsmen should leave his state. So why are they criticising Bauchi governor?”
Fulani herdsmen have been blamed for heightened insecurity in some parts of the country, particularly in the South-West, where a number of ultimatums have been issued to them to leave some areas in the region.