Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, on Monday, says his counterpart in Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, should be held responsible if he (Ortom) is assassinated.
Ortom also urged his Bauchi counterpart to apologise to Nigerians over his recent comments that Nigerians would be compelled to believe he is part of the conspiracy to wipe them out.
Ortom, at a press conference in Makurdi, the state capital, said it is disheartening to hear the Bauchi governor defend foreign armed herders who have “killed many Nigerians and inflicted pains on several communities across the country”.
He reiterated his call on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare such herders as terrorists and proscribe their groups, adding that any law abiding citizen irrespective of tribal affiliation could reside and do their business freely in Benue State.
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media to the Governor of Bauchi State, Mukhtar Mohammed Gidado, declined comment.
However, a senior government official said an official reaction would come after getting details of what Gov Ortom said.
Gov. Mohammed had last week blamed Ortom for his “lack of foresight” and negative perception of Fulani herders in the country.
Meanwhile, a former Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, has backed the comment made by the Gov Mohammed.
Yuguda, while answering questions from newsmen after he revalidated his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi on Monday, said Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria had been unfairly treated over the years.
Yuguda said, “There have been clamours by senior citizens in this country that we should carry weapons to defend ourselves, but when our governor, Bala Mohammed, made a remark to that effect, everyone is crying wolf – all the Nigerian press is saying Bala is this, Bala is that, didn’t you hear a senior citizen in Nigeria saying we should carry guns to defend ourselves, where were you guys, nobody wrote about it until when Bala said, okay, these people (Fulani) also deserve the right to defend themselves.”