Like herdsmen, farmers also carry AK-47 – Plateau gov

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The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong says farmers also carry AK-47 rifles like herdsmen in a bid to protect themselves, noting that self-help must be discouraged.

He stated this while proffering solutions to the lingering farmers/herdsmen clashes on  Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday.

Lalong, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said that only the full implementation of the  National Livestock Transformation Plan could bring lasting solutions to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and their host communities.

The Plateau governor aligned with the position of the Northern Governors Forum frowning on open grazing of cattle.

Lalong noted that ranching if adopted would benefit the herdsmen, the cattle as well as prevent clashes with the host communities.

“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.

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“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,” Lalong said.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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