The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, says Fulani herdsmen are not the only ones carrying AK-47 rifles about, as he said that farmers also carry weapons to their farms.
Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), said this when he appeared on a Channels Television programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday, lamenting the proliferation of illegal arms amongst herders and farmers in the country.
The governor further stressed the need for the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, saying it is the only solution to the frequent skirmishes between host farmers and nomadic cattle rearers.
He also insisted that open grazing must be banned and that every state government and the federal government should embrace the ranching system of cattle breeding to ensure peace in the country.
“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 am 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 and we shouldn’t allow self-help.
“At the time there were farmers-herdsmen clashes 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.”
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