Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong on Tuesday lamented the proliferation of weapons, including AK-47 rifles, among the country’s herders and farmers.
Lalong, who is also the chair of the Northern Governors Forum, highlighted that the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan was the solution to the frequent skirmishes between host farmers and nomadic herders.
He said this while appearing on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ monitored by The PUNCH.
The governor insisted that outdoor grazing should be banned and that the livestock system should be adopted by all to experience peace in the country.
He said: “Today, we are seeing the danger of allowing people to graze outdoors here and there. But they (the shepherds) also want a solution; By the time you explain them, they too will want to stay in one place, they will also want to avoid carrying AK-47s. I’m not justifying anyone wearing AK-47s, but don’t forget that in the course of our deliberations and investigations, not only Fulani herdsmen wore AK-47s, even farmers wore AK-47s.
“It’s just a proliferation of weapons with respect to protecting yourself. Everyone is trying to protect themselves, we should not allow self-help.
“At the time when there were confrontations between farmers and shepherds here (in Plateau), we arrested people, the farmers also had AK-47s and the shepherds also had AK-47s. But if you want everyone not to have AK-47s again, you must deliberately work to reduce the influx of small arms, and secondly find ways to move these people away from the old type of farming and then introduce them to the modern system. . “
Lately, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has been criticized for saying that herders carry AK-47s in self-defense. The comment sparked outrage with Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and his Ondo State counterpart Rotimi Akeredolu, who criticized the Bauchi Governor for supporting crime.