Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, has defended his earlier call on the federal government to grant residents who are of certain age in the state to bear arms.
Benue was once the centre of marauding herders’ activities with the height the killings of 72 persons on January 1, 2018.
Ortom at a press conference in Makurdi on Wednesday where he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of siding with the Fulani herders to the detriment of other Nigerians said his advocacy for residents of the state to bear arm was to be on an equal footing to their attackers (Fulanis) who he alleged are being armed by the federal government.
According to him, “When I talk, I was being castigated, I was being vilified, nothing bad that was not said against me, I am this and that but the reality is here and it is not just happening in Benue State today, it is happening in the entire country.
“Why is the Federal Government being silent about these Fulani herdsmen? When will Federal Government come out and criticise and arrest herdsmen carrying AK-47? When are they going to do that? Are we second citizens in this country? Why (is) the Fulani men superior to a Tiv man? I am not their slave, a Benue man is not slave to any Fulani man in this country.
“We stand for justice, equity and fairness. Whatever is happening to a Fulani man should also happen to a Tiv man. That was why I called the Federal Government to licence me and many others to have guns, to have AK-47 too. Because if I have my AK-47 and a Fulani man is coming there, he knows that I have and he has, then we can fight each other.
“But you can’t disarm me and arm a Fulani man. This is not right, the Federal Government is biased, it is unfair. The failure in security is caused by Federal Government.”