OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has cautioned the governor of Bauchi State, Mr. Bala Mohammed, from making inflammatory and divisive comments that worsen the security situation in the country.
The representatives made the caution while passing a motion urging public officers and political office holders to desist from making inflammatory or divisive statements capable of inciting the general public.
This was sequel to a motion taken under matters of urgent national importance by Mr. Dachung Baggos (PDP, Plateau) who noted that the basic idea of making inflammatory or divisive statements was capable of provoking aggressive reactions from the members of the general public.
He alluded to a statement made on the 13th of February, 2021, where the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, reportedly said herdsmen bear arms to protect themselves since government had failed them. Although he later clarified the comment, but it had already caused outrage in the country and beyond.
Mr. Baggos noted that “the constitution does not grant any individual or group of people the right to bear sophisticated arms but only a licensed specified shooting range to that effect from the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force (IGP),” adding that “even if the IGP were to grant licenses, the IG’s power cannot contravene the provisions of Chapter F28 LFN 004 Fire Arms Act which classifies the arms (AK47) carried by Fulani herdsmen as ascribed by the Bauchi State governor illegal and prohibited”.
The lawmaker also expressed concern that the inflammatory and divisive statement by the governor could lead to the erroneous belief that the government supports the perpetrated crimes of carrying prohibited firearms.
He also warned that the situation could easily lead to armed conflict as other groups such as farmers and defenseless citizens will consider it as a threat to their safety and opt to arm themselves with AK47.
He explained that “if all public officials regardless their position or status are not cautioned against inciting or provoking the general public, the already tense situation in the country will lead to open hostilities”.